Water is an essential micronutrient. In other words, we need water for survival and we need it in large quantities. But unfortunately, people have been fed with myths and unreasonable notions about hydration for years.
Are you sure you are not harboring some false notions too? Read along and find out for yourself!
1. The 2 liters rule
Many people stick to the formula of 8 glasses water daily. Just 2 liters of water daily, absolutely ridiculous!
The truth is that the recommended daily water intake level for women is 2.7 liters and for men, its 3 liters. Daily requirements for fluids actually differ from person to person.
Instead of sticking to an arbitrarily determined standard, a better way to establish the adequate level is by individual body weight. You should drink 1 liter of water for every 20 kg of your body weight.
2. You need to drink when you are thirsty
Do you know that by the time you actually get thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated? By the time you sense thirst, your body has already lost roughly 2% of water content.
This sort of water loss may lead to serious dehydration. In such conditions you may even experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness, confusion and fatigue.
To stay adequately hydrated you need to keep a regular intake for water or fluids. Sip on water, every now and then, even if you are not thirsty. You will definitely notice a difference in your mood and productivity.
3. The urine-color test
The popular understanding is that dark-colored urine is a definite sign of dehydration. This statement is not completely true. The fact is that the color of urine may indicate various things besides your body’s hydration level.
Of course, pale clear urine means that you are well hydrated. If your urine is bright yellow or orange color, that may be a sign of dehydration but not necessarily so. Sometimes medications and health supplements may influence the urine color as well.
A better way to assess your hydration is to note that you are peeing once every few hours or so.
4. Fortified water is better
Packaged water enriched with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes is the latest fad. The advertisements which claim that you are missing out on essential nutrients by consuming simple mineral water are nothing but marketing gimmicks.
The truth is that ordinary water is enough for your body’s hydration. We suggest that you chuck the superficial stuff away, and grab a retro water bottle filled with ordinary drinking water instead.
5. Caffeine connection
Misleading information may have led you to believe that coffee is a diuretic, and so it is dehydrating too. But this is far away from the truth.
A cup of coffee just like any other fluid hydrates your body. In fact, a moderate coffee consumption has been known to improve exercise outcomes. It is also known to boost brain performance.
6. Sports drink is a must after workouts
Aggressive marketers have been pushing the idea to us that some sort of sports drink is absolutely must right after we break a sweat. But that’s not absolutely correct.
These sports drinks are replete with carbohydrates and electrolytes that promote quick recovery. A moderate intensity exercise regime that wraps up within an hour or less doesn’t need to be concluded with a sports drink. Your body can recover well from the carbohydrates stored within. You need regular water to replenish the lost fluids, that’s all.
7. Seasonal dehydration
If you thought that you could never get dehydrated in cold weather, that’s another myth that needs to be busted.
You need to have the recommended water intake according to your body weight, irrespective of the season. You may not sweat in winters, but the heating appliances tend to alter the humidity indoors and cause dehydration.
Chapped lips and dry itchy skin are clear signs of dehydration. Do not ignore these signs.