Our body consists of 60% water and varies from age groups to body size. Children’s bodies could consist of up to 75% whereas older people’s bodies from 50 to 60 years age could consist of 50% water. Women have more water in their bodies while men have less. To revise the benefits of water: water is good for digestion, helps cells to absorb nutrients from food, transports nutrients throughout the body, helps the skin stay young and healthy, regulates body temperature, and helps in weight loss. Here are the five mistakes we make when drinking water.
- •Nowadays, because of TV advertisements, doctors’ advices or personal stories from people who benefited from drinking water, we tend to drink a lot of water even when we are not thirsty or when our body does not need it. We have long been told that it is important to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. But our intake of water should depend on the amount that our body needs. For example, women are advised to drink 9 glasses of water per day and men are advised to drink 13 glasses. 5 to 6 glasses of water is enough for children and pregnant or breast-feeding women are required to drink more than usual. We tend to lose water from our bodies fast and become dehydrated when we are in hot environments through sweating, urinating and etcetera so it is recommended that we drink enough water to replace the water lost. Hyponatremia is a condition in which the level of sodium in the body is very small and is caused by drinking too much water. Sodium helps balance the concentration of water in and out of the cells and if it is lacking in the body, fluids enter the cells and makes it swollen. This condition is dangerous especially if the cells are brain cells.
- Drinking water very quickly or chugging is also a bad habit we have concerning water. The intake of water fast without pause causes the kidney to assume that it is excess water and immediately remove it from the body through urine. If you are the type of person that likes to chug your water you could use bottles with narrow heads to limit your intake of water.
- The third mistake we make is drinking water while running or standing. The body has two types of nervous systems: parasympathetic and sympathetic. The parasympathetic (rest and digest) is the system that gets activated while we are resting or sleeping where as the sympathetic (fight or flight) is the system activated when we are active so it gets activated when we are running or standing. When we drink on the fight or flight mode, we usually do not get to quench our thirst and our digestion becomes improper as the nutrients are not properly absorbed. Drinking in this position also prevents the joints from having access to the water and through time may lead to joint diseases like arthritis. It could also cause the kidneys from properly purifying and removing impurities and may lead to kidney stones and infections being formed.
- Drinking cold water is also a common mistake we make. Even though it regulates a person’s body temperature while they are exercising, drinking cold water after consuming fatty foods solidifies the food and makes it hard to digest. It also activates the vagus nerve which causes the pulse of the heart to slow down.
- Drinking what before and after a meal is also a bad habit. Water consumed immediately before or after eating dilutes the juices the stomach produces to digest the food so it is stored in the stomach for an unnecessary amount of time. It is recommended that we drink water 30 minutes before a meal and 45 minutes after.