Are you drinking enough water? Follow the ‘8×8’ rule

cool waterWater is truly the elixir of life. As a saying goes “A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man”. Water forms about 60-70% of your total body weight and plays a major role in all important body functions. Water is present in your blood plasma and helps in blood circulation.  It is needed to make saliva, mucus, blood and other body fluids. Water is needed for digestion and to transport nutrients in your body. It is helps to regulate body temperature and eliminate toxins from your body through perspiration, urination and defecation. Water helps to lubricate all the internal tissues, much like keeping your machinery well oiled.

It is essential to consume adequate amounts of water each day as it can lead to dehydration otherwise. Dehydration happens when the water lost from the body is more than the intake. Water is lost continuously from the body when we breathe, sweat, and through urine and stool. It can be replaced by drinking adequate plain, clean water and through natural foods high in water content like certain fruits and vegetables. Most of us are not getting in the needed amount of water and our body learns to function with a low supply. Even the slightest dehydration is known to impair performance though we may never realize it and feel quite normal. Elderly people are at an increased risk for dehydration as their body’s mechanism for identifying that they are thirsty reduces with age. Exercise and physical activity increases the body’s loss of fluids and it has to be constantly replenished to have the muscles work efficiently and to prevent dehydration.

The hunger and thirst centers in the brain are located very close to each other; it is easy to confuse thirst for hunger. The best way to determine if you are really hungry when cravings strike is to first drink a glass of water before you reach out for something to eat. Most likely your need to eat will go away if you were just thirsty. This is a great way to avoid consuming too many calories and maintaining a healthy weight.

How much water do we really need? There is no known fixed formula for everyone as each one of us has a different daily requirement depending on our body’s make up. An approximate simple way though is to follow the ‘8 by 8 rule’. That is drink eight-8 ounce glasses of water a day. There is water even in the foods we eat so the need may be more or less depending on how much is delivered to the body from other food sources.

Drink up for good health and wellness.