An Ode to Eau: Benefits of Drinking Water

I’m Barrie, and I warmly welcome you to my tri-weekly blog: Over50andfit.ca

I have a question for you: How much water should you drink daily? Answer: It is impossible to give a definitive answer as each individual’s needs will vary. There is no universally accepted rule available – there is no one-size-fits-all formula.

There are several factors which influence how much water we should consume each day, among them: age, gender, activity level, health, and climate region. 

We all know that we have to drink lots of fluids when temperatures soar, but also we have to ensure that it is crucial to stay hydrated on a daily basis.

Benefits of drinking water

· Regulates body temperature

· Delivers oxygen throughout the body

· Carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells

· Flushes out body waste

· Protects organs and tissues

· Stabilizes the heartbeat

· Lubricates and cushions joints

· Helps dissolve minerals and nutrients

· Helps maintain blood pressure

· Prevents kidney damage

How much water should we drink daily?

Staying hydrated is critical for health and well-being, yet many of us are not consuming enough to drink – especially older adults. Numerous rules exist concerning how many glasses we should drink. Perhaps the most common is the 8 x 8 rule: drink 8 eight-ounce glasses daily. However, there appears to be no scientific evidence supporting any of these claims. I chose my own rule: a minimum of 6 glasses daily. Another important practice is to space out your daily consumption – if you forget to drink during the day, it is unwise to try to make up for your omission by drinking your total daily consumption all at once. 

What other options are available for staying hydrated?

It’s not just water that keeps us hydrated, although this is the better choice. All beverages contribute towards our daily needs. Naturally, we also want a variety of tastier and healthy alternatives – in moderation is healthier. Infusing your water with fruit is a healthy way to add flavour and avoiding sugar. Fruit juices – ensure that they are 100% fruit juice -are another option. However, these contain a lot of sugar, and you are encouraged to dilute these to one part juice and two parts water. Milk, lemon water, coconut water, and herbal teas are all good choices. Also, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach are almost 100% water by weight. This site https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/best-and-worst-hydrating-drinks-ranked/provides an excellent article on the best drinks to keep you hydrated.

Tips to help drink more water.

· Always have a re-usable water bottle with you all day

· Serve water during your meals

· Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water

· Choose water when eating out

One method to determine if you are hydrated adequately.

To tell if you are sufficiently hydrated, check the color of your urine.

This scale is suggested.

0 = colorless. Be careful not to over-hydrate. Make sure to get enough nutrients and electrolytes.

1 = light yellow. Perfect, keep moving, keep hydrating.

2 = medium yellow. You are mildly dehydrated. Reduce strenuous exercise and rehydrate.

3 = dark yellow. You are dehydrated. Stop strenuous exercise and consume lots of water.

Please feel free to share your comments – they would be most welcome.

Remember to keep hydrated, and drink lots of water.

In my next blog, I will discuss the many benefits of Tai Chi.

Yours in fitness,

Barrie

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Sandra Veenstra

Good reminders.

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