How Much Water Do You Really Need?

bigstock-Portrait-of-a-young-woman-drin-12539456(1)

Hydration 101:

 

By Zannat Reza @food4happiness

Nutrition Columnist

Nutrition Columnist

 

With summer in full swing, are you feeling the heat and humidity yet? I usually have to remind myself to drink more water, otherwise it could mean getting a headache and being cranky.

 

Why is water important?

 

Water makes up 60 per cent of your body weight.  It also:

·       controls your body temperature and keeps you cool by sweating

·       gets rid of impurities

·       keeps your appetite in check

·       keeps you regular

·       helps carry nutrients around your body

 

How Much Water Do We Need?

 

bigstock-Portrait-of-a-young-woman-drin-12539456(1)How much water your body needs depends on your gender, age and how active you are. Being more active means drinking more fluids.

 

Generally, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink 9 cups of fluid a day, and men need 12 cups of fluid (1 cup = 250mL).

 

Note that fluids mean more than just water. Juice, milk, soup, tea, coffee and smoothies also count. Water, of course, has no calories.

 

Signs of dehydration

 

Thirst isn’t the best way to know your hydration status.

Here are other signs:

 

·     dry lips and dry mouth

·     flushed skin

·     headache

·     feeling irritable

·     dizziness and fainting

·     dark yellow, strong-smelling urine

An easy way to know if you’re hydrated is to check the colour of your urine. It should be light yellow of clear.

Five ways to stay hydrated

 

1)     Drink water – This is the best way to stay hydrated. Add some zip with a slice of lemon, cucumber or ginger.  bigstock_Indian_Chai_Tea_12523715

 

2)     Enjoy tea or coffee – If you’re used to drinking caffeinated beverages, your body adapts and you gain more water than you lose. Stick to three cups or less, and skip the calorie-laden coffee ship concoctions.

 

3)     Eat fruits and vegetables – Most contain over 70% water. Think seasonal berries and melons.

 

4)     Whip up cold soups such as tomato, carrot or gazpacho. Add some heat with a sprinkle of cayenne or garam masala.

 

5)     Blend up a smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit, milk and yogurt.

 

 

Mango smoothie

 

This is one of my favourite smoothies.  Feel free to sweeten with a bit of honey, if you wish.

 

Tall glasses of mango smoothieIngredients

 

·       2 cups milk

2 tbsp yogurt (I use Greek yogurt for extra protein)

·       flesh of one mango

·       dash of cinnamon

Directions

 

·       Place milk, yogurt and mango in a blender.

 

·       Whirl up some deliciousness.

·       Serve with a dash of cinnamon.

Makes 2 servings.

 


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