What is the purpose of hydration?
Water is the cornerstone of our life: we could not survive more than a few days without hydration.
The homeostatic balance of our body is largely conditioned by its hydration, and it is fundamental to our daily wellbeing and our long-term health. Many surveys have confirmed that hydration helps maintain good physical and cognitive performances. Without it, our organs do not function as well, and they cannot fulfill their role in good conditions.
This can be easily explained. Our body does not produce water, but it loses some every day. In addition, it makes up 60% of the body in adults, 50% in the elderly, and up to 75% in infants. All our organs contain water to varying degrees: the brain near to 70%, our lungs 80%, and our kidneys, like our muscles 79%. The skin, which is our largest organ, contains 70%.
Water is part of the composition of our cells, and it participates in the energy and matter transformation process, in particular glycolysis which provides energy to the brain and muscles. This is the reason why, even low dehydration of just 1% can decrease the physical, muscular and cognitive performances of any individual by 10%. You then may suffer cramps, aches and pains, and headaches.
People who practice sports know it well: it is important to drink before and during the exercise, even more so when practicing endurance sports. If you do not properly hydrate, this may lead to inflammatory pathologies such as tendinitis or muscular burnout. Following the exercise, it is recommended to continue drinking waters that are rich in mineral salts: they have the added benefit of supplementing not only the loss of water but also that of carbohydrates and magnesium responsible for these painful conditions.
Drinking helps maintain or restore the homeostatic balance of our bodies. Besides, the first remedy is always to take a drink of water at room temperature in case of discomfort, a headache, faintness, or heat stroke.
Hydration is playing a thermoregulatory role that protects us:
- From extreme heat - our perspiration allows us to maintain the body at the right temperature
- From extreme cold, which dries out the skin and the organs due to an increased need for energy.
How much water should I drink every day?
Over the years, studies have shown that most of us do not hydrate enough nor properly.
Yet, hydration is a fundamental physiological need regardless of age. We must be extremely careful with hydrating infants and the elderly. The former, because they are very rapidly affected by a lack of hydration due to the high proportion of water in their body; the latter because they do not feel thirsty anymore and tend to forget to hydrate which leads to quick detrimental and potentially severe consequences, on those people whose health is often failing.
There is only one way to compensate for a water loss: in all cases, hydration is provided by direct water intake or when eating fruits and vegetal that are rich in water.
On average, an adult will need 1,5 to 2 liters of water per day to compensate for the regular and normal losses necessary for the metabolism (blood, intestines, stools, tissues, perspiration and sweat, thermoregulation). However, depending on weather conditions, physical activity, or physical condition (fever, transit/diarrhea problems), it will be necessary to adapt the water intake.
But bear in mind that you can also have too much of a good thing! The famous knight Bertrand Du Guesclin is said to have died for drinking too much water and too cold at the siege of Châteauneuf-de-Randon on July 13th of 1380 during the One Hundred Years’ War.
The temperature of the water we drink is not without consequences. Drinking water that is too cold can make you uncomfortable or sick. The impact of “ingested cold” is well explained in Traditional Chinese Medicine: it blocks the “Triple Burner” (aka San Jiao), key in the full circulation of Qi, our Vital Energy. Thus, in China, it is recommended to drink hot beverages with meals in order to ease digestion.
The quality of the water we drink is a determining factor in its effects. It is of course a given that the water we consume must be clean and safe water. It must also contain some key minerals. You could quickly become seriously ill if you drink demineralized water. In addition to the loss of water, we must compensate for the loss in vital mineral salts such as Sodium (CL-), Potassium(K+) and the Na+ Sodium ions which are eliminated when we sweat a lot.
A good and easy rule of thumb is: 8 glasses of water per day!
1st _when waking up
2nd_ at breakfast
3rd_ around 10 am
4th_ at lunch
5th_ with your coffee at the end of the meal
6th_ with a snack around 4 pm
7th_ at dinner
8th_ before going to bed!
In order to have your water at hand all day long, choose a refillable glass bottle like the one from BeVidid, available in Limited Edition on our website. Reusable and user-friendly, it will stay with your all day and allows you to vary the taste by adding lemon juice or a few slices of cucumber to enjoy naturally flavored water and pleasant to drink.