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The key to good health

Merril Diniz | May 31, 2006

Glowing skin, healthy bowel movements, weight loss, your wish list is endless.

Whilst splurging on beauty products, medication and diet plans, we forget the most obvious must-do: drink LOTS of water.

But how much is a lot? According to homoeopath Dr Akshay Batra, deputy managing director, Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinic, there is no such thing as 'too much' water.

He personally consumes six bottles a day as opposed to the recommended one-and-a-half bottles!

Of course, you could satiate your own water needs by downing eight to 10 glasses a day.

No time to drink water?

Unfortunately, many young professionals today simply 'forget' to drink water once they get buried under a pile of work at the office.

Take Nimika Shah, 25, who works for a retail brand, for example.

"I tend to forget, especially since I have to make a trip all the way down to the water cooler just to get my cup of water," she says.

A simple solution: Fill a bottle with water the minute you walk into the office, keep it on your desk and sip at regular intervals. Make sure it is empty before you leave for the day.

Water-rich foods and fluids

Make water consumption more interesting. Dig into a variety of fruits, vegetables and fluids that are rich in water content. Consultant dietician Rohini Cardozo e Diniz recommends: 

Foods: Watermelons, strawberries, oranges, sweet limes, grapefruit, pummelo (a fruit from the grapefruit family), green leafy vegetables, gourd vegetables like ridge gourd, sponge gourd, snake gourd, cucumber and thin curd. 

Fluids: Tender coconut water, buttermilk, lassi, fresh fruit juices, kokum squash, mango panna and milk.

Healthy water drinking practices

~ It's a good idea to start your day with one or two glasses of water. It helps to cleanse the system and can contribute to alleviating constipation.

~ Do not drink water while having a meal. According to Ayurveda, it leads to dilution of the digestive juices. This could lead to improper digestion. You can drink water half an hour before or after your meal.

Dehydration, a common problem

Lack of water in the body could lead to dehydration. Here are some reasons for dehydration.

~ You do not drink the minimum recommended quantity of water, ie 8 to 10 glasses.

~ You perspire a lot, travel long distances by train/ flight or spend long hours under the direct rays of the sun.

~ Another reason: you talk too much. This is inevitable if your job profiles demands you converse a great deal -- like if you are a radio jockey, a journalist who needs to conduct interviews all day or an agent in a voice-based BPO. Of course, talking could also be your favourite pastime!

~ Alcohol is yet another culprit, hence that parched feeling during a bad hangover. Remember, the higher the alcohol content in your drink, the more it contributes to dehydration. No, we aren't telling you to abstain completely, just don't overdo it. Dr Batra sets the threshold on three to five pegs.

~ To an extent, smoking also contributes to dehydration.

~ Tea and coffee addicts pay heed: Limit your consumption to two cups per day because tea and coffee are both
diuretics. According to Rohini, diuretics cause loss of body water if consumed in excess.

Signs of dehydration

~ You feel extremely tired all the time.

~ Your mouth feels dry.

Note: Diabetics often tend to suffer from parched throats.

~ Your pulse rate gets slower.

~ You feel dizzy.

~ You vomit.

Quick-fix for dehydration

Dr Batra advises the following:

~ Drink lots of water with glucose added to it. A product like Glucon-D is good enough.

~ Have two doses of homeopathic medicine Nux Vomica 200 a day, in case of vomiting.

~ In the long-term, wear loosely fitting lighter coloured clothes to prevent sweating which is also a cause for dehydration. Wear a cap or an umbrella when going out in the sun.

~ If you continue to experience the symptoms, visit a doctor.

Healthy practices when working out

A common myth whilst working out: You must not drink water because it makes you gain weight. Nutrition and fitness instructor Meera Jadhav reminds us that water has zero calories and, even if there is a weight gain, it is temporary. She recommends a water regime for your workout.

~ Drink one or two glasses of water 15 minutes before you start exercising, preferably cold water as it is absorbed faster.

~ During your workout sip water slowly, say every 15 minutes. Do not gulp it down at one shot.

~ Post your workout drink a glass or two. This could be immediately after you cool down.

~ If you drink 8 to 10 glasses on an average, then increase this amount to 12, as you will perspire a lot during the workout.

Now, enjoy a drink of water -- the best drink (and in some countries the most expensive) in the world!

How many glasses of water do you drink in a day? Or do you fall into that category who simply 'forgets' to drink water? What's your water story? Tell us.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 38

Sub: water problem

Hi, I read ur article today. It tells us to drink 8-10 glasses of water in a day. I cannot drink so much water as ...

Posted by Tina

Sub: Water consumption

Hi ! I take almost 10-15 glass (4-6 litres)a day. Is it harmful to consume more as you suggest 8-10 glass a day? Kindly reply ...

Posted by Santosh

Sub: drinking more than 2 litres of water a day!!!!

i drink a lot of water. i drink about 2.5 to 3 litres of water on an average per day. is drinking this quantity of ...

Posted by tanuja

Sub: Clarification of a statement

Can you please clarify this statement "Do not drink water while having a meal. According to Ayurveda, it leads to dilution of the digestive juices. ...

Posted by smita

Sub: how much water do i consume in a day.

Generally i have only 3-4 glasses of water.

Posted by sukhvinder


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