Water is the most important nutrient for the human body. Its benefits on the body are numerous. Our cells, organs and brain are composed on average of 65% water. It contains many trace elements and minerals (electrolytes) essential to our health and the functioning of our body. It allows the transport of nutrients and oxygen to cells, the absorption of water-soluble vitamins, the elimination of waste from the body and the regulation of body temperature.
For all these reasons, good hydration is associated with beautiful skin, better sports performance, greater digestive comfort or a more harmonious silhouette. It must be considered as a central element of our healthy lifestyle. We all know that it is vital to consume it every day, but we tend to forget it and only drink when we feel thirsty.
Here are the good reflexes to apply to maintain an optimal level of hydration by drinking effectively on a daily basis and in certain specific situations (pregnancy, intense sport).
1.5L = the bare minimum for hydration
You have certainly heard it time and again, but it is necessary for the proper functioning of the body and organs to drink water daily, at least 1.5L each day for good hydration. For what ? Quite simply because the body loses around 2.5L daily, through urine, passing stools, perspiration through the skin, breathing and tears. This is why you need to replenish your body's reserves. Since your diet (fruits and vegetables in particular) is supposed to provide you with 1L per day, you must provide the rest through drinks. It is estimated that 1.5L corresponds to approximately 8 glasses of water per day.
Still water may not please some people or even bore them. Drinking should remain a pleasure and not a constraint. To diversify the flavors, you can sometimes alternate plain water with herbal teas, teas or even smoothies.
Don't wait until you're thirsty! Drink small amounts throughout the day to limit water loss. If you wait until you're thirsty, that means your cells have already started to become dehydrated, and so have you. Get into the habit of always carrying a bottle filled with water to hydrate yourself in a balanced way by drinking regularly. This will prevent you from feeling the effects of dehydration such as fatigue, bad mood, trouble paying attention and concentrating. To think about it, without waiting for thirst, drink after each trip to the toilet, a healthy habit for the kidneys.
With age, the feeling of thirst decreases, so be vigilant!
Don't forget fruits and vegetables
To stay hydrated all day, a diet rich in plants is very important. Vegetables enjoyed in hot or cold soups and fruits consumed in the form of smoothies are very good ways to hydrate while eating. For example, watermelon, tomato, peach, melon, cucumber, salad or even zucchini are very interesting foods for their water intake. You can even make flavored waters with its fruits and vegetables to add a pleasant flavor to your water and take advantage of the micronutrients they contain.
Enrich your water with electrolytes
Electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium) help us better absorb and use the water we drink, maintain a balanced pH and a healthy nervous system. A simple and inexpensive way to enrich your drinking water with electrolytes is to add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt or, even better and more local, a pinch of unrefined sea salt (t ip feel good: the salt should be slightly gray ). You can add lemon juice to improve the taste of your drink.
Limit diuretic drinks
If you drink diuretic and/or caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, herbal tea, sodas, alcohol, industrial fruit juices), you will promote the elimination of toxins, but at the same time you will prevent the proper absorption of certain minerals. such as iron, magnesium, calcium or certain vitamins. Consumption of pure water is necessary to replace the water that our body loses and eliminates. For example, if you drink a cup of coffee, make sure to consume two cups of pure water to keep yourself hydrated. To replenish the nutrient reserves your body needs, water remains the best drink.
Drink slowly and between meals
The body can only process a limited amount of water at a time. Indeed, drinking in one go would exhaust kidney function and dilute mineral salts. You will therefore be able to better absorb and use the water you drink if you take small sips over a long period of time, rather than if you drink a bottle of water straight ;)
Furthermore, there is no problem in sipping a little water with your lunch, but try to consume most of it between meals to avoid dilution of digestive juices and optimize the quality of digestion. Chewing each bite thoroughly will help provide most of the lubrication needed throughout the meal!
Good hydration is essential during any sporting activity because water loss through sweating can be significant. They are also accompanied by mineral losses. Drink enough to restore fluid balance and electrolyte balance! Preventing dehydration allows an athlete to avoid cramps, contractures, digestive disorders, heatstroke. It is recommended to consume it before your session to maintain your muscular capacity, during exercise to stimulate your mind, and after exercise to help your body recover properly. Energy drinks can be a good solution because they provide the right amount of minerals and carbohydrates.
Pregnancy and breast feeding
Pregnant women need plenty of water to meet their needs and those of their baby. In fact, 90% of the weight of the fetus is made up of water! This is why pregnant women are advised to drink at least 2L of water per day rather than 1.5L.
Breastfeeding women, for their part, should consume slightly more, between 2.5L and 3L per day. Their needs are increased tenfold since breast milk is 87% water.
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