Water: the cheapest drink on the market, what falls from the sky, and what makes up about 60 percent of our bodies. A true basic essential for survival, we drink it to quench our thirst on a daily basis. You’ve probably heard of the common saying, “drink eight glasses of water a day”, but who really keeps count, and is that number really necessary?
Let’s get down to the basics. Why do we drink water, and what benefits does it bring?
The liquid acts as an insulator to our bodies and regulates our internal body temperature. Due to Singapore’s position near the equator, we get this blisteringly hot and humid climate all year round. To cool the body down, our inner system moves water up to the skin, producing what we’re most familiar with – sweat. But because of the high humidity levels here, sweat does not evaporate well, and it causes our bodies to heat up more. In turn, our bodies rapidly lose water and more often than not, we find ourselves caught in a sweat-drenched mess. Replenishing water in our bodies then helps us to cool down, and to avoid dehydration.
Water also flushes out toxins and waste out of our bodies through urine. Throughout the day, we consume an assortment of food and drinks, exposing our insides to a barrage of unfamiliar toxins. If they are not flushed out, the toxins can accumulate, causing health problems. Water then supports our body’s natural detoxification process, preventing an excessive build up in toxins. It also transports nutrients to various parts of our bodies where they are needed.
How much water do we then actually have to consume daily?
A popular myth would be “eight glasses of water a day”, but experts have debunked this over recent years. The source of this ubiquitous line can be traced back to a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation, which states that people need around 2.5 litres of water a day. But many overlook the sentence that follows – “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” Furthermore, the quantity of water each individual requires to remain hydrated depends on an amalgamation of factors: weight, location, diet and so on. However, this does not render the consumption of water to be any less important.
Making the conscious effort to consume more water can be tricky, and some days, I can attest to finding my water bottle nearly untouched and still filled to the brim by the end of the day. Thankfully, your source of hydration is not solely limited to just water.
Try increasing your intake of high water content foods as these foods contain 80 to 98 percent water. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, strawberries, grapefruits, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots are rich in water, and will aid in supplementing hydration to your body.
Get a marked water bottle. Personally, having numbers enables me to keep better track of how much water I’m consuming on a daily basis, and it allows me to be more aware of how much more water I really should be drinking. With millilitre markings down the side of your bottle, you can also set some goals as to how much water you want to aim to consume more easily without making vague estimates.