The other day I came across an interesting article about relation between health and the amount of water you drink. The research was based on Japanese culture and the fact that majority of Japanese women are rather fit and healthy. Of course their diet is one of the reasons for this, however they also discovered that a big culprit for this is the amount of water they drink. Not sure about you, but I can immediately notice if I haven’t had enough water, even after only 1 day. My throat starts to pinch, I feel lethargic, even my mind becomes a bit fuzzy. Sometimes I even find myself over eating and then realizing that I was actually missing water.
We really have to make a conscious effort to drink more water in a day, not only drink when we feel thirsty. Few years ago I started practicing having a glass of water in the morning on empty stomach and immediately noticed this works great in helping to activate digestion in the morning. But according to this article, you are suppose to drink at least 3 glasses of water on empty stomach and not eat or drink anything 30min after that. Haven’t tried it yet as I’m having a bit of a problem having so much water in the morning, but will start practicing it soon.
Water is extremely important and many health problems are related to water deprivation. Having enough water ensures that kidneys are functioning properly and filtering all the unnecessary stuff out. Recently there has been and increase in children with kidney stones, simply due to the fact that they are not getting enough water, instead consuming beverages which cause dehydration. Constipation and being overweight is also due to the lack of water. I bought one of those new age scales the other day, which shows detailed information about your body fat, bone density, muscle and also water retention. According to the scale by water levels are not high enough, and I thought I was drinking sufficient amount of water.
So how much water should you drink?
The rule of 1.5-2L a day seems to have changed as now experts are saying that it depends on your body size, activity and where you live. I definitely drink at least 1.5L a day, but now realized that this is not enough. Being in Malaysia and the hot weather as well as being in air-con rooms dehydrates. I think the diet that you eat also determines how much water does your body need. Carbs and lots of fibre absorb a lot of water from your body, so you need to make sure to replace it.
It is also important to note that you have to select the right water to drink as well. Some of the filtration processes destroy all the minerals in the water so you don’t get the added benefits. In Malaysia for example, those water bottles with white caps which you find in the stores contain filtered water and the ones with colored caps contain mineral water. Mineral water is the one you should be drinking as it contains all the natural minerals found in nature. Same goes for your water filter system at home, make sure it preserves the minerals while cleaning your tap water.
How to increase your water intake?
- Replace all your other beverages with water
- Carry a bottle of water around
- Infuse your water for added flavor (use sliced lemons, lime, strawberries, mint, cucumber, ginger, etc)
- Keep water glass/bottle in your vicinity
- Drink few glasses of water before your breakfast
CAUTION! One thing to avoid though, is drinking water (or any other beverage) as you are eating, or immediately after meal. This is said to water down your stomach acids which are responsible for breaking down and digesting your food. Therefore the digestion process is not as effective as it should be.
Hope this information helps and you start hydrating yourself more. Remember drink water even when you are not thirsty, but you shouldn’t drink huge amount at once!