BY Andrea Melisa
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dietician, nutritionist and health fitness specialist
S ome 60 percent of the human body is made up of water. And our body requires a continuous supply of this pre—-cious liquid to function properly. Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, flush out body waste, maintain blood pressure and prevent kidney damage among several other benefits. Read on for some useful pointers on hydration from Dr. Dheena Sadik.
Q: What drinks hydrate us best?
A: Water is the best form of hydration. Thambili is the next best option as it contains essential electrolytes. Athletes and those who dehydrate at a faster rate may require sports drinks to stay hydrated. However, nothing beats water.
Q: And what drinks should we avoid?
A: Stay away from carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, sugary drinks and alcohol, which tend to dehydrate you. Avoid energy and sports drinks – unless you’re an athlete or someone who is involved in intense physical activity.
Q: How much water should one drink in a day?
A: Between two and three litres a day depending on your physical activity levels, ambient temperature and other factors. If you’re someone who exercises regularly, avoid drinking too much water right before your workout. Instead, keep sipping water throughout to prevent dehydration.
Q: What’s the quickest way to counter dehydration?
A: That depends on the degree of dehydration – mild, moderate or severe. Drinking water, saline, glucose water or an energy drink usually suffices. However, severe cases of dehydration will require intravenous fluids under professional medical supervision.
Q: Is there such a thing as drinking too much water?
A: Yes. Water intoxication or over-hydration occurs when the normal quantum of electrolytes in the body is flushed out due to excessive water intake. This can cause blood sodium levels to drop dangerously low, resulting in hyponatremia. Other symp——toms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches and diarrhoea; and in severe cases, seizure, coma and even death.
Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to add in the context of water?
A: Water is extremely beneficial for the skin and hair, and is also said to improve your mood. So always stay hydrated and remember that irrespective of where you are in your life’s journey, it’s never too late to improve your hydration and start making healthy choices.