How much water should you be drinking? we have covered this topic before…. although the previous advice is still applicable there are certain changes or modifications you can make to look and feel better.
Our bodies run on a delicate system with our fluids constantly being kept at a certain level of salt, sugar and minerals. This is regulated by our food intake, the fluids we drink and what kind of food/fluid that we drink or eat. Take for example plain water which we are told to drink all day long to stay ‘hydrated‘ this water contains no salt, sugar or pretty much anything else – therefore by drinking it we dilute out bodies delicately balanced fluids.
Now this can be a good thing if for instance you have just eaten a salty meal or have done exercise which has caused you to lose water and concentrate your blood mineral balance. On the other hand it can be counter productive if you havent eaten in hours or have been eating a low salt diet as water will just further dilute your bodies fluids leading to a host of symptoms like:
- Brain fog
- Cold hands and feet
- Low energy
- Cravings for food
- Low blood sugar (light handedness etc)
So how do you take care of this and drink the right amount of fluids to stay hydrated and maintain a good intercellular fluid level? Well it is pretty simple – listen to your bodies call for hydration… When are you normally most thirsty or actually craving a glass of water? It is probably shortly after eating or while eating a salty meal, or first thing in the morning.
The other day a friend of mine was complaining of feeling light-headed mid morning and then decided it was because she hadn’t been drinking enough water, so proceeded to have a few large glasses. This is exactly the wrong thing to do – mid morning is the time when we are all susceptible to low blood sugar and a few glasses of water would just further pronounce the symptoms she was experiencing What should she have done? well a small snack like a banana with peanut butter or granola bar would have been a better option to rebalance her blood sugar and clear the light handedness, rather than a glass of water!
So going back to the original question, how much water? Here are some simple rules…
- Drink when you are thirsty, and genuinely thirsty
- Dont be scared of salting your food and even adding a pinch of salt to your water (especially after exercising)
- Avoid too much water in between meals
- Our bodies are smart and they know when to drink - dont believe the 2L of water a day hype
- Drink water with meals when it will be used to package nutrients and transport them around the body
- No harm in sipping on fresh fruit juices to keep hydrated
- Watery foods (fruit, vegetables etc) do count towards your water intake
When it comes to water listen to your bodies calls for hydration and do not be sucked in by the idea we ‘need’ a certain amount each day which will cause you to drink for the sake of it.