Importance of Hydration
Water makes up 60% of the adult body weight. Two-thirds of it are found in intracellular space and rest one-third is found in blood plasma and the space between the cells. Water helps to detoxify the body and brings a sense of satiation which makes one eat less. Other essentials related to hydration are
Maintains the body temperature
Balances blood pressure
Transports nutrient to cells and organs
Helps to keep the joints lubricated
Aids in proper function of the liver, kidneys and digestive organs
Maintains skin elasticity
How Much Water Does One Need?
The amount of activity, body composition, age, amount of salt and sugary drinks consumed, climate and host of other reasons determine one's requirement of water.
The old recommendation of 8 ounces or 0.236 liter of water, eight times in a day has been laid aside. Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2004, and researcher Heinz Valtin recommend that thirst is the factor to decide the amount of fluids required by the body. Another parameter is the color of urine. As long as the urine color does not turn into different shades of yellow, it means the body is adequately hydrated. At least 3 to 4 liters of water intake has been recommended by diverse sources.
When you are thirsty it is recommended to grab a glass of water rather than a can of soft drinks or drinks with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). However, many do not prefer or like plain water. There are hydrating drinks other than water which also provide some nutrients. These fluid sources certainly provide hydration more than just water. They are also good to taste with no added sugar or spice. Drink your way to better health.
Who does not relish coconut water slurped straight from the fruit? Coconut water is 94% water. It is a low-calorie drink and contains potassium, vitamin B complex, electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, and various plant hormones. It fairs as well as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink minus the excess sugar. According to a source, 12 oz serving or 0.355 liters of coconut water contains around 65 calories, 850 mg potassium, 357 mg sodium and 82 mg calcium. It can reduce systolic blood pressure and has been used as an alternative to intravenous solutions. It aids the digestive function, boosts immunity, and its diuretic effect owing to potassium prevents kidney stones. Thus coconut water is a drink that hydrates most and yet it is as light as water.
Water with Holy Basil
Water with Holy Basil is nutrition packed and is an inexpensive hydrating drink other than water. Holy basil is also known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, Ocimum sanctum, or tulasi
. This plant is known for its medicinal benefits. Its phytonutrients makes it an excellent antibiotic, germicidal, fungicidal and disinfectant. It contains vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, camphene and other antioxidants such as eugenol that helps relieve stress and neutralize free radicals. It fights cancer, respiratory disorders like coughs and colds. It helps to treat gastroenteritis, fever, rheumatism, septic, urinary and genital infections, intestinal worms and other infections.
The drink is made either by overnight steeping or brewing tulasi leaves in boiling water and allowing it to cool. The strained water can be added to the drinking water. You can also add a couple of holy basil leaves in drinking water.
Lemon Infused Water
Honey and lemon water mixture or lemonade has been consumed down the ages for health benefits like relieving constipation, boosting metabolism and detoxification. However, this cannot be consumed beyond one or two glass a day. A few drops of lemon squeezed into 2 to 4 liters of water can make the ordinary water more refreshing. It can beat tiredness like nothing else. Lemons are a rich source of Vitamin C and also contain B-complex vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium. There is no need for any added sweetener or spice. This method can be tried with other citrus fruits like sweet lime, oranges, but lemon is an all time favorite. You can carry this water to your workplace or when you travel. It is one of the most hydrating drinks besides water.
Like Holy Basil water, it is made either by overnight steeping or brewing fennel seeds in boiling water and allowing it to cool. This water can be added to drinking water. It is different to sugary sherbet. Fennel infused water aids in weight loss, removal of toxins. It is an appetite suppressant, blood purifier, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It stimulates melatonin and metabolism. Few people might prefer mild, coriander infused water. In winter, lemon and fennel infused water can be used as a soothing beverage.
Fruits/ Fruit Juices
Nature has packed fluids in solid form and blessed humanity with fruits and vegetables. Watermelon is 92 percent water and cucumbers contain 96 percent water. Celery, radishes, grapefruits have high water content. These can be relished directly or as smoothie. In many cities, vendors sell cucumber, carambola and watermelons. People tend to ignore fluid intake in winters because they do not feel thirsty. However, fruits can be a good alternative to caffeine drinks to meet body fluid needs even in cold climate. In summer, juice of sugarcane, Falsa/Phalsa and Bael or woodapple not only hydrates but also fights heat-related ailments.
Water Stored in Copper Vessel
Traditionally people have been drinking copper-enriched water or water stored at least 12 hours in a copper vessel. However, in present times we have relegated this practice mostly due to ignorance of its benefits. Copper is antimicrobial, antioxidant and helps in proper absorption of iron. In Ayurveda, copper is considered to balance the three doshas (Vata, Kapha, and Pitta). The World Health Organization's limit of copper leached into water is 2000 ppb. Copper purifies water. Copper surfaces can completely kill bacteria. Copper is good for the brain, thyroid, lymphatic system and joints. Thus, copper infused water is more hydrating and can diffuse toxins present in outdoor food and water traveling through plastic pipes.
Silver Infused Water
Traditionally silver coins have been dropped in water pots or jugs of drinking water. Food was consumed from silver utensils. Silver water aids in breathing and helps oxygen to reach the lungs. It also provides anti-bacterial action on plastic surfaces. It is antimicrobial and disinfectant.
"After testing 23 methods of purifying water, NASA has chosen silver as the purifying agent on the
Space Shuttle program. " -Jim Powell
Whey is water left over during the processing of cottage cheese or paneer.
It is called paneer
water. You can add some lemon drops in it to make it more appealing to the taste buds. It is a complete protein and contains nine essential amino acids. It is also low in lactose content. It is a source of calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Chaas
is made of curd with water added to the ratio ranging from 4-8. It is a great appetizer and highly beneficial for liver and digestion. So those who do not prefer water at all can opt for whey or chaas. Chaas
is not buttermilk as the latter is liquid leftover while processing cream.