Let’s get one thing straight: coke tastes better than water. So does lemonade, fruit juice, tea, coffee and, of course, alcohol! We all enjoy drinking these things. If you are like me, you probably don’t enjoy drinking water – you just know you should. But why should we? Is pure water better than, say, orange juice? How much water should we drink a day? Can we drink too much water?
Our bodies are estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. That’s a large amount. I think you’ll agree. Our body needs water to maintain a steady body temperature. It is used to transport nutrients to all of our organs, bring oxygen to your cells, remove waste and lubricate our joints and organs.
Water is lost through urination, respiration and sweating. The more active you are, the more water you lose. If you start to get pains in your joints, headaches, strong-smelling yellow urine and constipation, it may be a sign that you are dehydrated, and thus not getting enough water to replace what is lost. Thirst is also a good sign that you need to drink more.
Can We Drink Too Much Water?
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The short answer is yes. In fact, people are known to have died from drinking too much water. So why is too much dangerous? Well, drinking too much water can cause your brain to swell. Because it is inside your skull, if it swells, it doesn’t really have anywhere to go. This swelling can interfere with vital functions such as breathing.
So How Much is Too Much?
According to expert research, drinking several litres over a short period of time (perhaps over 1-2 hours) can be enough to cause the brain to swell.
Ok, So How Much is ‘Ideal’?
Our bodies are made of about 75% water. So it stands to reason you need to keep drinking a lot of it. Our brain is also known to be comprised of 85% water and only 15% solid tissue. Ask your doctor how much water you should drink per day based on your particular body weight. There are also online calculators that will help.
Experts tend to agree that 2.5 litres per day is an ideal amount of water to consume. Of course, this could be in the form of juice, pop or non-caffeinated drinks. It’s probably a good idea to have a mix. Keep in mind, though, that you drink too much pop & you could very well have no teeth in a few years. Juice contains vital vitamins, so a small portion is good. Don’t forget too, that a percentage (around 20%) of the water you need will come from the food you eat. So don’t think that you have to sit there gulping down 2.5 litres of water. If your intake is spread throughout the day, you shouldn’t even notice it.
To Reiterate – Drink Enough Water!
It is difficult to keep on top of drinking enough water. If we are having a busy day, it is easy to get distracted. If this happens, don’t binge on water when you remember (too much over a short period is bad). Just try to have a steady intake from that moment on. Keeping a bottle handy at all times is a good way to remember. Don’t forget, you can break it up with other juices, too (just keep an eye on those calories).