You may buy water bottles of all shapes and colours from the local supermarket, but none of them can help if you do not put them to frequent use. In summer as well as winter, that is. The good news is that you don’t have to depend solely on water to fulfill your daily liquid intake. Dehydration can be countered by consuming certain nutritious foods that provide for your body’s fluid requirements while doling out the nutrients you need too. One way to check if you are consuming enough water is to note the colour of your urine. The paler it is, the better. Yellow urine means you are not drinking enough water.
So, why is water so important for your body? If you drink enough water every day, health experts say it will help you lose weight and stay healthy overall. “Hydration is very important for properly purging out toxins, bodily wastes and germs that get trapped inside our skin. Besides causing your skin to break out, inadequate intake of water keeps your bowel movements irregular and constipated. Drinking water regularly is essential for keeping the digestive system lubricated and the tract flexible and clean,” says Bhavya Sharma, a Delhi-based health and fitness expert with UrbanClap.com.
Not drinking enough water could affect your social image too. “Less water also means less saliva, which leads to increased bacteria count in your mouth – causing bad breath,” says Sharma.
Here are some ways you can ensure adequate water intake.
1) “People who do not like drinking plain water can increase their fluid intake by having buttermilk, coconut water, plain milk or soup. It is imperative that you don’t have drinks that are aerated or contain excess sugar,” says Dr Bhupendra Gandhi, senior nephrologist and founder-trustee at the Amar Gandhi Foundation.
2) Make sure you take a bottle of water to work, or while travelling.
3) Various foods you consume also have high water content. The American Dietetic Association has listed them in accordance with their percentage levels:
Lettuce (1½ cup)- 95%
Broccoli (1½ cup)- 91%
Milk (1 cup) – 89%
Carrot (1½ cup)- 87%
Apple (one medium)- 84%
4) Spike your water with a wedge of lemon. This will not only add to the taste but also make you want to drink more. You can also buy special bottles that help you infuse the essence of beneficial foods into the water. For instance, put strawberries in such bottles and placed them in the fridge. An hour later, you will have lovely strawberry-flavoured water.
According to Dr Gandhi, young and healthy people have a natural thirst mechanism for meeting their body’s water needs. “It is important that you don’t avoid this mechanism by being too busy. Make it a point to drink enough water,” he says.