Health tips for drinking water
On dry and windy spring days, people are prone to getting sore eyes, dry throats with a bitter taste, dry skin, ulcerated corners of the mouth and a hot nasal cavity. It's necessary to get enough water for the body.
Water plays seven main roles in the human body: aiding digestion, excreting waste, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, maintaining cell function, ensuring blood volume, as well as lymph and blood components. Every tissue works efficiently only when there is enough water in the body.
What happens when people are dehydrated?
When people lose water amounting to 2 percent of their body weight, they will be very thirsty, have a sense of depression and lose their appetite.
When water loss reaches 6 percent of the body weight, it will disturb the thermoregulation of the body, and lead to tingling and numbness in the limbs.
Fainting may occur when water loss reaches 7 percent of the body weight.
When the dehydration takes away water amounting to 10 percent of the body weight, the cardiovascular, respiratory and temperature regulation systems of the human body will be damaged, and people are likely to experience irritability, enophthalmos, loss of skin elasticity, increased body temperature and pulse, and decreased blood pressure.
Water loss of more than 20 percent of the body weight can be fatal.
What happens if someone drinks too much water?
Drinking too much water can cause "water intoxication".
Drinking a lot of water in a short period of time will cause changes in the concentration of electrolytes in the blood and fluid flow in the body. In severe cases, it will cause brain swelling, compression of the skull, and even death. However, water intoxication rarely occurs to people who have healthy kidneys.
People suffering from kidney disease, liver disease or congestive heart failure should avoid consuming excessive water. They should follow the doctor's advice and drink an appropriate amount of water.
How much water should you drink?
Drink enough water
Adults participating in light physical activity generally need to drink 1,500ml to 1,700ml of water (about 7 to 8 glasses) per day in mild climates. The recommended amount varies with each age group.
Increase water intake appropriately in case of hot weather, strenuous exercise and profuse sweating. Add light salt water (0.9 percent concentration) if necessary.
Drink small amounts multiple times
It is recommended to drink 200ml (one cup) each time. Drinking small amounts of water multiple times is good for soothing dryness in spring. A large intake will increase the burden on the stomach, reduce the bactericidal effect of gastric acid and hinder food digestion.
Replenish water in time
Replenish water in time. When thirsty, the body is already dehydrated. It's unhealthy to wait until you are thirsty to drink. In addition, the elderly are not sensitive to thirst, so they should develop the habit of drinking water regularly.
Choose plain water
Drink clean water, including plain boiled water and bottled water.
Adults can drink light tea. Drinking tea is good for one's health, for it is rich in several beneficial substances such as tea polyphenols. Notably, patients with hypertension, coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis, pregnant women, women of childbearing age, the elderly and children should not drink strong tea.
Drink moderately warm water
The optimum temperature of drinking water is 18°C to 45°C. Too hot, the water can burn the esophagus and potentially result in esophageal cancer. On the other hand, drinking a large amount of ice water can cause blood vessels to constrict, which will decrease the blood supply to the intestines and stomach and lead to stomach cramps, abdominal pain, nausea and other symptoms.
Drink less beverages
Most beverages contain sugar. Excessive consumption of sugary beverages will increase the risk of cavities and obesity. It is not recommended to drink sugary beverages, and they do not serve as a substitute for water.
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