“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volmetrics Weight Control Plan
Water is an important compound that sustains and supports life. Not just this, it is because of water that life came into being. Are scientists and cosmonauts not looking for signs of water on moon and other planets and exoplanets? If they find water anywhere in the universe, there will be a high probability to find life as well as intelligent life very much like us. We know very well the importance that water holds in our day to day life. Can we live without water even for a few hours? The answer is no. Approximately 3/4th of our planet earth is covered with water and remaining is the land mass. When we consider this information, it is hard for us to appreciate why do we talk of conserving water as if it were on the verge of extinction pretty soon. Why the hue and cry? Most of the water that is available in nature is unsafe as well as undrinkable. Water that is drinkable is called as potable water. The proportion of fresh water is 2.5% and potable water is just under 1%, hence the hue and cry. Almost all the water that we drink today is treated water. Although, the earth has huge quantity of water but the proportion of potable water is very small.
Unsafe water carries pathogens, bacteria, viruses, pesticides and chemicals and is the leading cause of diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid, dysentery, Cholera and hepatitis A among other diseases. Human body accounts for 55 to 60 % water by weight. Not just the human body but plants and other animals too contain a high proportion of water in their bodies. Water is also a major component of all foods like fruits, vegetables and grains. Watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, apples, grapes and oranges contain very high quantity of water, generally over 80%. Water is needed by life forms to carry nutrients to the cells, regulate body temperature, soften tissues, flush out toxins etc. Water protects against developing certain kinds of cancers, high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease and urinary tract infections. Thus, water is a necessity of life that helps ward off ailments and diseases.
Most of us drink water only when we feel thirsty, not often or frequently. If the weather is dry and hot, you drink more water and when it is cold, you drink less of it. So, what is the correct quantity of water that one individual should drink in a day? Approximately 20 to 25 % of our daily requirement of water is fulfilled by the foods that we eat like fruits and vegetables as well as curries and gravies of dals or pulses. The minimum amount of water a normal healthy person requires is about 2 to 3 litres a day or approximately 8 to 10 glasses. This may go up in summers and in times of high physical activity that is accompanied by sweating. This quantity may also come down slightly in winters. Some of you might think that consuming packaged juices and energy drinks also suffices the need to stay hydrated and to that extent water requirement may go down. Well, you are marginally correct as drinking processed juices does fulfil your need for water but at the same time it pushes up the sugar intake as well. Excess consumption of water is just as harmful as drinking less of it. So, are there any disadvantages of consuming too much water? Yes, there are some grave disadvantages. It may cause two types of harmful effects inside the body. One that it may dilute the sodium level in the blood stream and second, it may cause water to seep inside the cells leading to bloating or swelling. This may further lead to increased pressure inside the body and the brain causing headaches and nausea. Also, when you increase intake of water, you need to empty your bladder too often that may lead to flushing out of nutrients that would otherwise be retained inside the body. Another aspect that should be understand is that excess consumption of salty foods causes body to retain too much water inside it that leads to swelling of the limbs and the body in general. So, watch your salt intake too.
[ Also Read: Myths about cleanliness and health ]
A glassful of water has zero calories while a glassful of fresh juice has 20 grams of sugars! Processed juices should be worse off in sugar content than fresh juices. Therefore, juices whether fresh or processed are no substitutes for water. In similar manner, even aerated drinks with artificial sweeteners are no good as they too contain high sugar content and consuming them over long term may lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. For the same reason, it is absolutely a bad idea to feed children with high quantities of juices and colas to keep them hydrated. Even beverages like tea, coffee and mocktails in all their varied forms and varieties are just as bad and damaging. If you are habitual to any of these then it is advisable to limit your intake to not more than two cups or glasses in a whole day. Milk, curd and fruit shakes are healthy as well as fulfil the need to stay hydrated for children too.
What is the right way and frequency to consume water? You may consume water after an hour of breakfast, lunch and dinner till and half an hour before. If you are forgetful and frequently miss out on consuming water then it is a good idea to keep two water filled one-litre bottles on your working table so that you remember consuming the right quantity at the right time without missing.
Save wastage of water, save life
Water..the very basic need for everyone, yet it’s right volume of consumption is set aside..great read for a very popular topic..
2-3 litre of water one should drink in a day