THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING HYDRATED
How much water should you consume in a day? You're probably aware that staying hydrated is critical when the temperatures rise. But, regardless of the outdoor temperatures, staying hydrated is a necessity.
Unfortunately, many of us, especially as we age, do not drink enough water. As we mature, we just do not feel thirst as strongly as we once did. And this could be an issue for those who take substances, diuretics or prescriptions that cause fluid loss.
How Much Water Should We Be Drinking Daily?
The daily requirement is four-to-six glasses of water in principle. During the day, the body loses water, primarily through urine and sweat, but also through normal body functions. Hence, to avoid dehydration, you should drink and drink plenty of water daily.
However, there are many different views on how much water you should drink each day. Health experts generally advise eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which means a total of about 2 liters or half a gallon. This is called the 8x8 rule and is pretty simple to remember.
Does Weather Impact This Amount?
The weather affects water intake. Many factors influence how quickly the body loses fluid during winters. Inhaling cold, dry air causes more water loss because it must be heated up and moistened before approaching the lungs. Regular exercise in cold weather causes more fluid loss due to deeper and heavier breathing.
The winter only impacts the water temperature, whereas water intake is increased in hotter and more humid temperatures.
Dehydration is more common in warmer climates, so if you happen to be where it is hot, it is strongly advised to make a point to drink more water than usual due to excessive water loss through sweating and other factors.
What About Daily Activities?
Drinking plenty of water improves energy, mobility, recovery, flexibility, and temperature regulation. Also, it aids in clarity of mind and activity – all of which can help enhance athletic performance and minimize the risk of injuries.
Electrolyte replenishment is required for activities lasting more than 90 minutes. If you are exercising and sweating a good bit, a sports drink in addition to your water may be beneficial and can help you stay hydrated. The primary objective of post-activity hydration is to substitute any fluid deficit that occurs during your exercise.
Do Different Sports Dehydrate Us More Than Others?
Some sports require more energy and stamina than others and exert the bodies more. Since more exertion and work is done, it simultaneously means more water is lost through calorie burn and sweating. Hydration is necessary to balance the water levels and fluids lost in your body to compensate for them adequately and keep you healthy, up, and running.
What About Being Over 50?
The amount of liquid in our bodies decreases as we age. As you age, your body has fewer water reserves to draw on.
Thirst is your body's way of telling you that it needs water. However, because the thirst response weakens with age, older individuals may be unaware that they need to gulp down.
Some older people have underlying medical conditions or are on medications. These medications can cause an increase in dehydration through urination in some circumstances. Our kidneys may become less effective as we age, resulting in a fluid disparity in our bodies because your body's water composition decreases with age, and you get dehydrated much faster.
Water is essential for several reasons, including regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated, preventing infections, delivering nutrients throughout the body, and keeping organs fully functional. Hydration also enhances sleep quality and memory learning (cognitive capabilities) and regulates emotions.