With the oft-scorching heat in Singapore, it is important to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
But how much water should you drink, you know, exactly? Read on for smart tips about how much water to drink per day, and how much may be too much. While you’re at it, find out about the health benefits of drinking “high-quality H20”, as Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy character called it. You can do it!
Health benefits of drinking water
Before we get into the how-much-water-to-drink stuff, let’s look at why drinking water on a regular basis is so very beneficial to your body.
Drinking water can help you to rid your body of waste through sweat and urination. When your lymphatic system functions better, your digestive system works more efficiently, too. One of the consequences of not drinking enough water? Constipation. Namely, when the stool in your colon doesn’t have enough water and is more difficult to pass out. Not fun.
Drinking enough water can also help to stop kidney stones from forming. These hard deposits of salt and minerals in the kidney or urinary track can form where you do not have enough fluids to dilute the concentration of minerals. And passing said stones (through the – gulp – ureter) can leave you doubled up in acute pain. Did we mention the side-effects of not drinking enough water are not fun?
If you are diet conscious (no judgement either way), water can help to suppress your appetite and is calorie-free. This is because when your stomach senses that it is full, signals are sent to the brain that make you feel full and reduce your hunger. It is also extremely beneficial for the skin, as drinking H2O can help it stay hydrated, too. (Read about hydrating skincare ingredients for more youthful skin as well.)
On top of all that? Water can prevent headaches. Your brain contracts temporarily when there is not enough water in your body. The retraction from the lining of the skull is what causes headaches. Drink more water for higher energy levels as it helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to the brain, aiding in memory and cognitive performance.
So, are you drinking enough water?
The Health Promotion Board in Singapore recommends a daily intake of eight to 10 glasses of 250 ml. each. But, even more importantly, listen to your body – if you feel thirsty, drink more!
One way to know if you are drinking enough water is through the colour of your urine. If the colour of your urine is dark, that means you are dehydrated. If your urine is clear or a pale yellow, that means you have enough water in your body. Other indicators of dehydration include dizziness, sleepiness, dry skin, feelings of thirst, headaches and dry mouth.
Try making drinking enough water a daily habit: by drinking water with or after every meal, eating more fruits and vegetables that have higher water content and purchasing a reusable water bottle to drink on the go. (Here are some other effortless ways to be more eco-friendly, if you’re interested.)
Can you drink too much water?
If you exercise a lot, you probably already tend to drink more water to compensate for the loss of H20 in your body as you sweat. However, drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, where the salt levels and electrolytes become too diluted. If the levels fall to a dangerous rate quickly, this could be a medical emergency.
Symptoms of water intoxication include head pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting and drowsiness and fatigue. So, while it’s important to drink an adequate amount of water, don’t overdo it.
By Jasia Shamdasani
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