Water is a commodity that we take for granted. Yet we do not know so many things about water. For instance, a person is estimated to drink about 40,000 liters of water in his/her lifetime! Amazed?
When do we need water? Most definitely, when we are thirsty. Water has to be taken throughout the day. Though there is some controversy about taking water before or during or after meals, there is no conclusive evidence to show that taking water at these times would cause harm. There is a possibility of the digestive enzymes getting diluted by taking water before or during or after meals.
If one takes a dry meal with no gravy dishes, then water requirement increases, usually indicated by thirst. Fortunately, Indian cuisine usually have some gravy dishes in every meal, which satisfies the requirement for water during meals.
Why do we need water? Water is required for digestion of food and elimination of waste products, lubrication for joints and eyes, regulation of body temperature, dilution of urine to prevent kidney stones and infections, to build tissues and so on.
How much water do we need? Generally, an individual should consume 1.5 - 2 liters of water a day, but many fail to do so! Though mild thirst is a good indicator of water requirement, so always pay attention to subtle body signals.
Also, it is very important to keep count of how much water you drink in a day. A quick way to find out is by watching the color of your urine. Pale or almost colorless means your water intake is adequate. Yellow color means you need to drink more water!
Here is a quick formula to know how much water you need per day - 30 ml of water is required per kg body weight. If you weigh 60 kg, you need around 1800 ml of water per day. The need of water increases with your level of daily activities.
Water enters our body through various foods and beverages too -
• Beverages - 62%
• Fruits and vegetables - 70 to 95%
• Milk - 87%
• Cereals - 10 to15%
• Bread - 40%
• Sweets & fats - 0 to 10%
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are not counted in the total amount of water intake per day because these beverages have a diuretic effect - that is they remove water from the body by increasing urinary output.