How much and why do I need to drink?
The human body consists of more than half water. The exact proportion varies according to gender, age, body weight and muscle or. Fat mass. In adults, the proportion z.B. at 60%-70%. So water seems to be indispensable for us. But exactly how much water do I have to drink a day?? And what happens when I drink too little?
How much water does a person need?
"We need at least 3l of water a day!" "Drinking little makes you stupid." "If you don't drink enough, you get wrinkles faster." "Only if you drink enough, you can be maximally efficient."
What is the truth of statements like these? And how much water should you really drink now to live healthily? And you can drink too much?
Let's start with the..
4 myths about drinking water
1.) Drinking a lot makes beautiful skin
Jain. Drinking half a liter of water stimulates the blood circulation of the skin and thus activates its metabolism. It is therefore possible to counteract tired, pale skin by drinking enough water. However, that you can prevent skin wrinkles with increasing age by drinking enough is not scientifically tenable.
2.) You can tell if you have drunk enough by the color of your urine
True! If the urine is dark yellow, this can be the first sign of dehydration. If you drink too little, urine appears in concentrated form and gives the urine a brownish tinge.
3.) Who has constantly thirst, has perhaps diabetes
Of course, it is not possible to say exactly. If you are constantly thirsty, you may simply drink too little, sweat a lot or live in a hot climate zone. But: persistent thirst can indeed indicate diabetes. In the course of diabetes (sugar disease, read more in our article about sweeteners and sugar), the body regularly produces a large amount of urea. The body excretes sugar from the body in the urine at very regular intervals. The result: excessive urination leads to persistent thirst. And our fun fact of the week: Doctors used to diagnose diabetes by the sweetish smell and taste of urine.
4.) Drinking too much is unhealthy
Correctly. Not only drinking too little is harmful, but also too much. 10l is considered the maximum intake of fluid.
What happens if you drink too much
If you supply your body with excessive amounts of water in the long term (>10l), important nutrients and minerals are flushed out. The water accumulates in the cells, flushes them out and promotes the formation of edema. Particularly in the brain this can become dangerous, since this – naturally in the extreme case spoken – cannot expand beyond the skullcap. Headaches and lack of concentration can therefore occur not only with too little, but also by drinking too much.
Other symptoms of too much water intake can include: increased sweating (an attempt by the body to get rid of the water), fatigue, breathing difficulties and shortness of breath.
Okay, so I can drink too much.
But – how much water is healthy?
A healthy water intake of a 25 to 51 year old adult is on average 2.6l a day. You consume about 1.5l through drinks and 0.6l through your food (for example, cucumbers or tomatoes consist of more than 90% water). The mathematician (the mathematician) among you will ask now: What is with the remaining half liter?? Well, about oxidation processes in the body you take up say and write between 400 and 500ml of water. The missing half liter is produced by yourself. In processes such as the burning of carbohydrates, fats or proteins.
This table represents your daily average intake and output of water:
Table: Daily fluid balance
Drinking too little – What happens when you drink too little water?
That you can drink too much, you now know. However, most people are aware of this when they drink excessively.
Increased drinking often goes hand in hand with the desire to lose weight. The stomach feels full, our mechanoreceptors in the stomach wall react to the increased prere and tell our brain: We are full. But if you drink too little, you usually notice it only in the evening, when it is already too late. Because the important thing to know is: Your body can only absorb 200ml per 15min. That's why you should avoid going for hours without drinking. Then to empty a whole bottle before loud thirst. You just have to go to the toilet soon. You have not done your body too many favors. It's better to spread a bottle throughout the day than to drink it all in one go in the evening.
Okay, too much at once won't do any good, understood. But can also do too little?
As you have probably already guessed, it is of course possible to drink too little water. And this can happen even faster than you think. Because most of the time we do not notice directly when we have drunk too little during the day. In the best case, a headache in the evening shows you the way to the water tap or a slight prere in your head reminds you: Once again, you have not drunk more than one glass of water. If anything.
Besides headaches and a feeling of prere in the head, the following symptoms can be the consequences of dehydration (not drinking enough water):
– Dizziness, feeling of weakness – Vomiting, nausea – Loss of vision, blind spots (flickering spots) – Dry mouth and nose – Hot flashes – Fever – Hypotension (low blood prere) – .
The list is long. But how come?
If you drink too little, you confuse some processes in your body. With a water loss of 0,5-3 of body weight the first feeling of thirst appears. At the same time it decreases the concentration-. Sports performance. And a loss of 3% occurs more quickly than you might think. For a person of 60kg, a sweat loss of 1.8kg already accounts for a water loss of about 3%. And during intense exercise we can lose up to 3 liters of sweat per hour! A Loss of 3-5 Water manifests itself in a reduction in saliva and urine production. Our mouth becomes dry, we do not have to go to the toilet for hours. Headaches can be the first signs. If we still do not drink now, it becomes critical. From 5% water loss "thickens" our blood, the blood volume decreases, the heart must pump stronger and faster to move the more viscous blood mass. our blood prere rises, we may feel dizzy, our muscles are no longer supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Cardiovascular problems announce themselves. 6% Water deficiency. Our body temperature rises, our headaches get worse, we get a fever. 8%, we get nauseous and dizzy. 12%, we lose our orientation, we are confused, we don't know what we are doing anymore. 14%, circulatory collapse is just around the corner. The pyramid of failures of our body comes to a head, so that at 15-20% water deficiency death usually occurs due to heart failure. We humans secrete throughout the day. Also the night distributes water again and again. Partly we are aware of this (sweating, urine), partly the loss of fluids happens unconsciously (e.g.B. through breathing). If the body is then not supplied with enough fluid to replenish the "reservoirs If we do not replenish our water reserves, the above symptoms can occur, depending on the degree of dehydration. A general symptom of physical lack of water can be dry lips and a dark yellow colored urine.
But how much water do I need now?
Generally, as mentioned above, the human organism needs about 2.5l to maintain all vital functions. But be careful! During physical activity, stress, hot ambient temperatures or illness, the need for water can quickly increase up to fourfold. For example, someone who does an hour of intense exercise may well lose up to 3l of sweat (s.o.). It should be clear that the rule of thumb of 2.5 liters is not sufficient.
Further reasons for an increased water requirement can be
– dry or cold ambient air – high protein or salt consumption – vomiting or diarrhea
In the sport should be drunk due to the strong sweat loss by the way absolutely already before the training sufficiently. Only those who do not become dehydrated during training can protect themselves from loss of performance and health. Every 10-15min should be drunk in the optimal case to the 200ml water. If this is not possible (pause cylcus, fear of having to go to the toilet), at least a few sips should be drunk regularly.
Does water help to lose weight? water is known to have zero calories. Is the best thirst quencher. Of course, you can take advantage of this to a certain extent. As described above, there are receptors in our stomach that tell our brain when we have eaten enough. A big glass of water about half an hour before your meal can help you avoid a big hunger attack. If you have not been able to eat for a long time due to work or other reasons, there is a high risk that you will eat too much at once. A glass of lukewarm water gives your stomach for the time being the safe feeling that you will not starve and can help you to avoid gorging comata. And sometimes a craving is also a misunderstood feeling of thirst, because we have forgotten to distinguish between thirst and hunger in the initial stage.
Water as a thirst quencher
With its zero calories, you should always reach for water to quench your thirst. If water is too boring for you in the long run, you can alternatively also fill unsweetened teas into your bottle.
Because you have only thirst and open for example a cool Coke, have you with few sips 12 sugar cubes and 140kcal (with 0,33l Coca Cola) into your stomach poured. Your insulin production raises the alarm and transports the sugar into the cells, your sugar level drops again and suddenly you are not only thirsty again (the sodium contained in cola promotes the feeling of thirst), but also hungry.
Are you a fan of sweet drinks and used to high-sugar liquids, here's a tasty tip for you that tastes at least as good and can help you lose weight with its minimal calories:
Cut a large apple into slices as thin as possible and remove the core. Wash a small handful of grapes, halve or quarter them and remove the seeds as well. And don't put this little fruit salad in your breakfast bowl, but in your water bottle (still water tastes best). Shake well and wait a bit and the fruit will give its sweet taste to the water. Also works with raspberries!
Tastes not only better than Coke, Fanta and Co., but also does something good for you and your body!
P.s.If you can't do without sweet drinks, you should aim for a mixing ratio of 1:4 or 1:6 (with one part juice to 4 or 6 parts water).
Tips for everyday life
If you work in an office during the day, you can take a large 2-liter bottle of water to work with you after breakfast and drink it all up by the end of the day. A rule of thumb, which serves here as orientation for the daily liquid supply: 30ml x body weight in Kg plus fluid intake through food intake. When doing a physically demanding activity (e.g.B. Craftsmen, construction workers, etc.) it is necessary to drink enough in addition.
[By the way, if you drink a cup or two of coffee at work, you don't have to worry about dehydration. Coffee does speed up the urge to urinate, but the difference from urinating with water is minimal. But be careful: 400mg of caffeine should not be exceeded per day (Association for Nutrition and Dietetics) and never more than 200mg should be ingested at once. A cup of 200ml filter coffee contains about 90mg of caffeine.]
I drink enough!
When we are asked, we sometimes have the feeling: "I drank enough today". But when we then review the day, we notice: We have drunk not even nearly 2l of water. In everyday stress we often forget to reach for the water bottle. Now, with these 5 tips, that's about to change!