The most popular rules talk about the general quantity a person should drink daily in order to stay hydrated. The most known are the 2l a day rule and the 8 glasses of water daily, but they aren’t suitable for everybody. The water need depends on many factors related to each person and the environmental conditions. For example, men should drink more water than women, the quantity depends on age, the elderly being more prone to dehydration due to the lower water content. The food diet or medications we take can influence the water needs because of the diuretic effect of some ingredients. This means the property of some products to remove the water from the body by urine, which leads to dehydration if we don’t replace the water loss in good time. Even the outdoor environment influences the need for water, either by altitude or by extreme temperatures. The first step to drink water in a correct way is to calculate the quantity you need. The amount must be customized for each one, and a more accurate way is by multiplying the number of kilograms by 33ml of water. Add extra if it is very hot outside, if you exercise, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Once we calculate how much water to drink, we need to know that frequency is more important than it. For example, if my body needs 2.7 liters of water a day, it does not mean that it will be enough to drink it all in the morning or at any other time of the day, and for the rest of the day, not to consume it at all. Proper hydration is done by small sips, taken constantly. Recommendations include a water intake every 30-45 minutes, and during the summer, especially when we are exposed to the sun directly, even more often, every 15 minutes. When we consume too much water in a very short time, the body eliminates it almost instantly through urine. Therefore, water will not have the time to reach the cellular level and hydrate us deeply. Moreover, when we drink slowly, we give the body the time to absorb the nutrients from the food it needs.
The body has the same reaction to remove water quickly when it has a too low temperature. Consuming very cold liquids, in which we add ice, is a common habit, especially during the summer, because it creates a fake impression of cooling and hydration. In fact, it is a superficial effect. Water drunk at room temperature, somewhere between 21 and 23 degrees C, hydrates deeply because it is stored enough in the body. In addition, it is a very good trip recommendation and we want to avoid stops to the toilet for reasons of time or hygiene. Avoid to drink too much at once or too cold water and choose room water temperature. Drink it constantly, in small portions, just to moisten the mouth and throat.
If the other aspects are related to serving itself, the position refers to how the way we sit while drinking water influences the way it hydrates us. It is a better idea to sit down when drinking water, rather than standing. When sitting and drinking, the muscles and nervous system are more relaxed, and this helps the nerves to digest both food and other fluids more easily. The position will also help the kidneys to better filter the water, so they will function more easily. When we stand or walk while drinking, blood flow is higher in the extremities of the body (hands and feet), which can be an obstacle for water to reach the digestive system properly.
One of the most popular rules when it comes to hydration is as often heard, as correct, but also ignored by the most of us. Don’t wait for thirst to come to drink water! Thirst is a sign of dehydration, so when we already feel it, our body suffers. The best time to drink water is right now, but there are some key moments when water is essential, like the first minutes after waking up in the morning, before and after every meal, before and after exercise or before going to bed.
Just drinking water doesn’t mean we’re well hydrated. Drink enough water to meet the needs of your body, in small and frequent sips, at room temperature, in a sitting position and especially at the time when the body needs an energy boost. Download the Hi! Dration guide – a guide to stay hydrated every day and find out how to stay hydrated by what you eat and drink and how hydration can become a lifestyle.