#healthyharmony: how to drink water properly

Water is as essential to the human body as air. It serves as a reliable conductor of nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. It circulates along with the bloodstream, dissolves salts and nutrients and helps them to be well absorbed. But how to drink water properly to bring the maximum benefit to the body, how does the body compensate for the lack of water, does its temperature matter and is it worth drinking water with food? For answers to these questions, we turned to a specialist.

Maria Belysheva – nutritionist, psychologist, founder and head of the School of Health and Beauty, creator of the author’s course “Healthy Harmony”, dance and stretching coach, specialist in Taoist practices.

How important is water for the healthy functioning of the body?

Water is as vital to the body as oxygen. With a lack of water, all the internal biochemical processes are disrupted: both the metabolic processes in the cells and the purification process. The function of all subsystems is disturbed: circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal, etc.

How much water should a person drink per day in addition to other fluids? When should you drink more?

There are types, but they do not take into account the individual characteristics of each organism. The average value – from 20 ml per 1 kg of human weight – this is the minimum amount of water you can drink per day. If a person is actively involved in sports or loses weight, then the formula looks like this: 40 ml of water per 1 kg of body weight. Based on this, it is good to focus on the middle: 30 ml of water per 1 kg of human weight is a good ratio when there is definitely no shortage of fluids and at the same time it is not difficult to drink such an amount of water per day.

It is better to drink water during the working hours of the body. You should drink a significant amount of water (1-2 glasses) already at the time of waking up in the morning, because in the evening there were important cleansing procedures and the first sips of water on an empty stomach are the completion of the cleansing. During the day, it is important to drink during the period when the body is actively working. This is the period of solar activity. At the moment, the metabolism is as active as possible and needs help. Therefore, it is important to drink the main volume of water before 16:00 or 17:00 in the afternoon. At night, depending on the condition of the body, water should be limited. At night, all the processes in the body are in decline and usually there is not much need for water. If there is intense thirst at night, then this indicates that the body did not have enough water during the day.

When should you drink water after waking up? And should you drink water before going to bed?

It is worth drinking water immediately after waking up: you got up, went to the toilet and went to drink water. This is the best choice for the body to complete all the night procedures. Before going to bed, I do not recommend drinking water for two hours, because it can prevent the transition to the deep phase of sleep, when the main processes of recovery of the body continue.

Is there a lot of water?

Yes sometimes. There is even such a diagnosis, hyperhidrosis, when a person drank too much water. But this happens in two cases: when there are problems with the kidneys in the body and when the water is not good, for example, with heavy metals.

What does constant thirst say even in the cold season?

You should see the analysis here. Persistent thirst is usually the main symptom of diabetes or insulin resistance. Persistent thirst is one of the main indicators of excess insulin and fasting glucose.

If you do not want water, what does it say?

“I do not want water” is a relaxed concept. Indeed, it happens that a person drinks various fluids during the day, and since water is vital, the body is forced to isolate water because of these fluids. For example, from soups, tea, coffee, juices. But this is a more time consuming process than just consuming water. On the other hand, the body has an adaptive function. We get used to everything: discomfort, complexity, illness, mental stress. The abnormal becomes the rule. Because the addiction comes gradually, we do not remember the initial state. So it is with water. “I do not thirst” can already be a habit of a person.

We also have receptors for hunger and thirst. They look a lot alike. It often happens that the body can signal the desire to drink and a person goes and eats instead of drinking. And the body gets water from food. It is like breathing through a mask. Every body needs clean water.

Does the water temperature matter?

Yes. Water at different temperatures has different properties. It is processed by the body in different ways. If one drinks cold water, then the body will warm it, because it will not let it go further than the stomach until it is warm. So it takes more time to digest it. Plus the use of cold water – thermoregulation training – the body’s ability to maintain a constant body temperature in different conditions: cold, hot, etc. Such a simulator is useful for people who are prone to freezing, for example. If you drink hot water, it is very easily absorbed by the walls of the stomach, water enters the intestines during transport, is absorbed by the body faster and easier and dehydration is automatically prevented. In addition, the use of warm or slightly warm water helps to relax the mind and relax the gallbladder. This is a kind of prevention of bile stasis, which is also important for the body.

What kind of water is most useful for consumption: bottled, boiled or from the tap?

Everything is very relevant. Bottled water is different, as is tap water. I can say that tap water is actually quite safe. It often happens that bottled water, when tested for composition, is even worse in composition than tap water. Not everything, but it exists. If you are sure about the quality of bottled water, it is better to drink it. If not, then tap water is fine. You have to pick it up, let it stand for a while and then drink it.

Boiled water has positives and negatives. On the one hand, yes, boiling kills dangerous bacteria. Although the tap water is treated and the possibility of biological organisms there is quite low. However, it may contain heavy metals, chemical particles that are not destroyed by heat treatment, but become smaller. In this case, when you consume boiling water, it is more difficult for the body to notice these heavy particles and let them go where they should not. Therefore, boiled water is even more dangerous than tap water. The safest option is self-purifying water with additional filters. From all the above I recommend this water.

Do you have to drink water with food?

Ideally, it should not. A person must be hungry in order to secrete a sufficient amount of saliva when eating food. Food must be chewed well to facilitate its absorption at the expense of the body’s reserves. But more often, modern people are in a hurry, eat dry, fast or not hungry (in this case, saliva is produced worse) or eat in a state of stress (in this case, no gastric juice is also produced). Then water is an auxiliary element. You can drink water with food if you need it, if you do not want to train your body and eat better. But then it is better to drink hot water so that it does not stay in the stomach and does not slow down the digestion process. One glass at most in one meal.

Should I drink water after coffee?

Necessarily. 20-25 minutes later to avoid dehydration.

Is rinsing the mouth after eating helpful?

Yes, it is useful. The condition of the oral cavity, the condition of the throat, the larynx, all these are a single “lake” in which the thyroid gland lives. It regulates the body’s metabolic processes and it is important to keep it safe. It is important to keep your mouth, teeth and throat clean.

What can be added to water if it tastes bad?

I note that the terms “unpleasant” and “unusual” are often confused. But yes, it does happen: people may not like the taste of ordinary water. In this case, it is useful to alkalize it, for example, with lemon or add herbs. It is useful to add salt to the water. It can be enriched with spices: cinnamon, cloves, pepper – all these give pleasant flavors that allow you to drink water with pleasure. Cranberries and lingonberries are also very good in this regard.

Is it worth it to increase the amount of water if you want to lose weight?

Yes. In our normal state, we drink 20-30 ml per 1 kg of weight, if you want to lose weight, you can increase it to 40 ml per 1 kg of weight. In the process of losing weight, our deposits begin to break down and those toxic trace elements that were hidden there re-enter the bloodstream and therefore must be liquefied increasing the volume of water.

Is it worth reducing the amount of water for edema?

Surprisingly, but fact: swelling often occurs with a lack of water. For example, a person does not drink during the day, but at night he ate and filled everything with water from above. During the day, the body does not have enough water and a person begins to replenish it before going to bed. In this case, swelling often forms. It is also important to understand that edema is a protective function of the body, which often occurs in slag organisms when it is necessary to reduce the concentration of toxic elements. It can also be a defense mechanism against dehydration, because the body needs fluids to function and will retain them. It is necessary to understand why the body activated defense mechanisms.

With edema, it is important not to regulate the amount of water, but to regulate the time of ingestion. Drink in the morning and afternoon, when the body is actively working, and limit it at night. Second, edema is most often associated with metabolic processes, the condition of the thyroid gland and is useful to consider here. It is important to look for the root cause and regulate eating behavior, edema can also occur in foods that the body most of the time cannot absorb.

Do you need to drink water while exercising? And how right?

Ideally, if the body is healthy, then it is better not to drink water during training, because excess fluid will hinder complex movements. It is best to quench your thirst after a workout and create a proper drink schedule beforehand. But there are options available. First, it is important to consider the complexity of the workout and, second, the condition of the body. If the thirst is persistent, we feel it and it interferes, then in this case it is better to drink. This indicates that the metabolism is accelerating and there is a lack of water. In this case, it is useful to drink water, but in small sips and warm. Remember that if the water is cold and we drink it in big sips, it will remain in the stomach until it is warm. In the process of training, especially those related to running and jumping, excess water will interfere. Therefore, it is best to drink before intensive training. Ideally, a healthy body can safely do without water during training.

also in the heading #healthy harmony You can find answers from a nutritionist on topics such as how to get rid of sweets and why breakfast is important.

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