World Water Day – 22nd of March: How much water you should drink a day and why you should drink before you feel thirsty

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Water, like air, is a basic source of life and health. A person can survive for weeks or even months without food, but only a few days without water.

How much water is recommended on average per day? How does it feel to be deprived of water? What are the symptoms that can be seen and felt to indicate that dehydration has started?

Drinking water should start before you feel thirsty, because feeling thirsty means that your body is already about a litre short of water. To increase the amount of water you drink during the day, you should always keep it close to you.

If you find the usual water bottle boring, use your imagination to create refreshing water and fruit smoothies. Lemon, orange, berries, mint leaves, etc. can easily add colour and extra flavours.

Drink a glass of water and make sure your friends do the same. Make it a habit to help you stay in good spirits and good health.

Water is the source of most metabolic reactions.  Water is involved in digestion and helps absorb water-soluble substances.

Water surrounds the cells (tissue fluid), is needed for joints, eyes, brain and spinal cord, and with the help of water, metabolism takes place within the cells. Water (urine, faeces) is used to remove metabolic by-products and toxins. Water is also important for regulating the body’s temperature.

When should I drink more water?

Because the human body has no water reserves to draw on after a loss of fluid, it is necessary to drink the amount of water lost each day.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that an adult should drink an average of about 30 ml/1 kg of body weight (e.g. for a person weighing 70 kg, 70x30ml≈2100 ml per day).

It is recommended to drink more water when it is hot or when sweating as a result of heavy physical activity. It is also necessary to consume more fluids during fever, because when the body temperature rises above 37 degrees we lose an additional 200-300 ml of fluids, and with each degree increase in temperature we lose an additional amount.

Even a slight deficiency of water in the body affects well-being. It can cause weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, impaired concentration, slowed reaction times, low blood pressure, cold hands and feet, dry eyes, dry skin, headaches and night cramps.

What are the signs of dehydration?

The most important symptoms that warn of dehydration are:

– A dry mouth and a swollen, dry tongue,

– general weakness,

– dizziness,

– faintness, heart fluttering, trembling, fainting,

– fainting,

– markedly reduced sweating,

– significantly reduced urine output.

Made by: Otilija Smelevičiūtė