How to hydrate properly and why?
Publish date:16 April 2019
Our body depends on water in order to survive. Each cell, tissue or organ needs water. Therefore, in addition to diet, physical activity and rest, proper hydration is one of the main features of a healthy lifestyle.
The human body contains over 70% water, a percentage higher in men than in women, phenomenon explained by the percentage of adipose tissue (containing very little water). The higher the fat percentage, the lower the water percentage.
In summer, it is important to hydrate properly. Still we have to be careful what type of water we drink, in order to ensure the proper transport and the absorption of nutritional substances, to help the digestion, to maintain kidney functioning and to control the acid-base balance of the body.
Dehydration symptoms consist of a feeling of dry mouth, prolonged fatigue, dry skin, drowsiness, intense thirst, headaches and dark colored urine.
Still water is a good choice for absolutely everybody, while mineral water is recommended only for people who don’t suffer from kidney or heart conditions.
The daily consumption of liquids depends on:
- physical activity (liquid requirements increase with the physical activity level, according to the type of sport, intensity and duration)
- diet (a rich diet in fruit, vegetables or soups provides an addition of beneficial liquids to the body)
- weight (liquid requirements are different for each person, depending on own weight)
- temperature and environment (by exposing ourselves to a higher temperature or to a dry environment our body needs more liquids to maintain a constant temperature)
These being said, all that is left now is to start hydrating ourselves correctly.
It is recommended drinking about 8 glasses of water/ day, the equivalent of approximately 2000 ml for a person weighing 70 kg. Each person needs 1 ml liquid/1 kcal consumed during the day, or, in simpler terms, 30-35 ml/kg.
The recommended liquids are still water, fruit-enriched water (for instance lemonade), plant or fruit teas, an occasional fruit fresh, as well as plenty vegetables and soups.
Author: Iulia Hadarean, nutritionist-dietician