Water: for health, for life

We often take it for granted but water is vital to our survival – we can last 1 month without food, but only 1 week without water…

Photo: Glass with water pouring in and splashing out.

Water for health, for life.  We can’t last more than 1 week without water.

Fun facts about water

  • Plane travellors can lose 1.5 litres during 3 hour flight
  • Body water content higher in men than women, falls in age
  • We get thirsty when our body loses 1% water
  • Most mature adults lose 2-5-3 litres a day, elderly lose approx. 2 litres.

3 great reasons to drink water

1. Performance boost

Drinking water regularly can improve your concentration and your muscles so you work and play better.

Water makes up appoximately 60% of our bodies. Our brain and muscles function at its best when we keep up our water intake. And it doesn’t take much for us to get thirsty: when our bodies lose just 1% of water!

A loss of just 1.36% of water can lead to mild dehydration which can have a significant impact: headaches, lower concentration levels, poor mood, and the perception that everything is more difficult. We need water for health – but also for life!

2. Digestion aid

Your body depends on water to keep your digestion working well. Drinking water breaks down foods and helps them along your gastrointestinal tract.

Warm water is better than cold water when eating as it helps to break down foods faster and which gives a helping hand to your digestive system.

A great time to drink warm water is in the morning to get your digestive juices going and to kickstart your energy. Add a squeeze of lemon if you’re not big on the taste. It’s also a great way to cleanse your body and flush out toxins.

3. Weight loss aid

Drinking water before meals is a natural way to feel fuller so you’re more likely to eat less. This has been found to improve weight loss in middle-aged and older adults.

Water has also been found to increase metabolism – drinking just 500ML can increase your metabolic rate by 30%! That’s according to research by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

And warm is better than cold. Warm water increases body temperature, which boosts your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories.

How much water should you drink?

The following is a guide from Better Health Channel’s article on Water – a vital nutrient. It includes fluids from food and other drinks, but preferably clear water.

Recommended water intake

  • Infants 0–6 months – 0.7 (from breastmilk or formula)
  • Infants 7–12 months – 0.9 (from breastmilk, formula and other foods and drinks)
  • Children 1–3 years – 1.0 (about 4 cups)
  • Children 4–8 years – 1.2 (about 5 cups)
  • Girls 9–13 years – 1.4 (about 5-6 cups)
  • Boys 9–13 years – 1.6 (about 6 cups)
  • Girls 14–18 years – 1.6 (about 6 cups)
  • Boys 14–18 years – 1.9 (about 7-8 cups)
  • Women – 2.1 (about 8 cups)
  • Men – 2.6 (about 10 cups). 

Note: the amount of water you need will change depending on such factors as your age, activity level, health, weather, diet, and pregnancy.

5 Tips to increase your water intake

  1. Add a slice of lemon to mix it up a little
  2. Keep a glass at your desk and in your bag
  3. Add ice cubes made from fresh fruit to a glass of water
  4. Clear is best, soft drinks are loaded with sugar, tea and coffee have caffeine
  5. Freeze water in a bottle for a cold drink during the day.

Summary: Water for health, for life

  • Water is essential for health and for life.
  • Benefits are many and include: 1/ physical and mental performance, 2/ digestion, and 3/ weight loss.
  • Amount to drink depends on your age and other lifestyle and health factors
  • Get creative to make sure you drink enough.