It’s a simple enough question that should have a simple enough answer, and truthfully speaking, once you actually understand and listen to your body, it will actually feel very simple. But till that time, there are a number of factors that matter – your overall health, your activity levels and of course, where you live.
Water is essential. I don’t think we actually appreciate how important simply having water is. Making up almost 60 percent of our body weight is no joke. Our body needs water to survive. Literally, every cell, every tissue and every organ in our body needs water to work properly.
Water keeps our temperature normal, it protects our tissues, lubricates our joints and most importantly helps in ridding our bodies of waste through urination, bowel movements and perspiration. When our bodies are deprived of water, it leads to dehydration which can drain our energy, make us tired and can unnecessarily cause risk.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
So then the questions must be asked again, how much water do we need? 8 glasses a day? For the most part, it’s a good, easy-to-remember gauge. But some of us don’t need as much.
Remember 20% of the water we consume in the day on average comes from food. And the more water-based foods we eat, the less actual drinking water we’d need. Of course, the less water-based the food, the less we can count on that intake.
So how do you know you’re having enough? Your fluid intake is probably okay if you seldom get thirsty or if your urine is colorless or slight light yellow. But beyond these signs, just be aware. Make your meals are balanced. Especially if they aren’t, then make sure you are drinking enough water, throughout the day.
Don’t compare yourself to others when it comes to deciding the correct amount. We all are programmed differently and as a result it is better to listen to our own bodies rather than follow a pre-programmed generic schedule.
One very important side note, try to avoid more than sipping water during meals. When we drink a glass or two of water with a meal, it actually interferes with the normal digestion process. It’s best to have water some time before the meal or at least an hour after. Drinking water at the correct times can actually help for the body to better absorb nutrients.
At the end of the day, we can’t just expect water to do its job, we have to do ours too!
– Amit Vaidya
Amit Vaidya is the best-selling author of the memoir Holy Cancer and the upcoming Food Is Medicine cookbook series. He is the in-house health & wellness expert for Kapiva Ayurveda, advocating for the empowerment of all individuals to be in the driver’s seat of their own lives. He chronicles his life on Instagram under the handle @live4todayamit.