Stay Healthy: Drink Water
04 Mar 2016
Water accounts for anywhere between 50 to 80 per cent of our body weight, depending upon lean body mass. We wouldn’t last long without it. [i]
While we can survive without food for several weeks, we can only survive a few days without fluid. Because our body is unable to store fluid, we need to drink it every day; and when it comes to drinking, Kidney Health Australia recommends water as the best option. [ii]
Why water is important
Drinking water goes beyond quenching our thirst. An adequate intake of water is important as it helps remove waste and toxins from the body, transport nutrients to our cells, replenish blood supply, and keep our organs functioning properly.
All of these functions utilise water. In fact, it is estimated that on average most adults lose between two and a half to three litres of water each day, while elderly people lose around two litres. [iii]
How much water should we drink?
Everyone is different and therefore water intake requirements can vary enormously from person to person. While previously we were encouraged to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, one new recommendation is to drink according to your thirst. [iv]
Our thirst can vary depending upon a number of factors. Exercise can leave us feeling more thirsty, due to fluids lost through sweat. Similarly, living in hot or humid weather can cause us to sweat more, meaning we need more water.
Sometimes the type of diet we follow can mean we need to drink more water. It’s important those following a high-fibre or high-protein diet drink more fluid to aid the digestion process.
Some conditions, such as illnesses causing vomiting or diarrhoea, or being pregnant or breastfeeding, can also mean you need to drink more water.
Tips to increase water intake
If you struggle to drink water the good news is that many foods also contain water. On average, 20 per cent of your fluid intake comes from foods. In particular many fruits and vegetables (e.g. watermelon and cucumber) are high in water content, so be sure to add them to your diet.
When it comes to the other 80 per cent of fluid intake, water is the best. To ensure you drink enough water why not keep a jug of water in the fridge or take a bottle of water with you wherever you go. You can also alternate water with alcoholic beverages and drink herbal teas. To make plain water more interesting, you can also add slices of citrus fruit or even fill a glass with ice cubes and top with icy cold water when the weather is warm.
So the next time you feel thirsty, choose water. Not only is it calorie-free, it’s inexpensive, readily available and is great for your health.
Experience the Zip Effect. It’s easy to drink more and improve your wellbeing with fresh, filtered water on tap.
[i] National Health and Medical Research Council, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, Water, last updated not specified, accessed 19 September 2015,https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water
[ii] Kidney Health Australia, Thirsty — Drink water instead, last updated 7 July 2015; accessed 19 September 2015, http://www.kidney.org.au/kidneydisease/drinkwaterinstead/tabid/703/default.aspx