Germans drink far too little overall, as has already been proven in several studies. Water is essential for our survival: generally speaking, people can go 3 days at most without drinking. So first drink a glass and then read on. Knowing and changing your own drinking behaviour is easier than you might think.
Why is drinking so important?
The human body consists of about 60% water. What you should know: Throughout the day you lose quite a bit of fluid: through sweat, urine and even our breath. So you need to drink enough water regularly to keep the body well supplied.
Drinking is especially important for the following factors:
A healthy body function
Pathogens have a particularly easy time getting through dried out mucous membranes. Those who drink too little allow viruses and bacteria to enter. Your kidneys also need a lot of fluid. They are important detoxification organs through which harmful substances are constantly excreted. With every glass of water you drink, just imagine how you flush your kidneys and flush the toxins out of them. The brain also needs a good water supply. Your blood, which consists mainly of water, transports valuable nutrients in the brain from A to B.
A regulated body temperature
Since your body loses a lot of fluid through sweat, you have to give it back to your body. Sweat is used to cool your muscles down when they overheat and to release excess heat. Your body thus maintains a constant temperature of 37 °C.
Fresh skin, beautiful nails and great hair
A good drinking pattern is also important for your appearance. Water supplies your cells in the tissue with good nutrients. Your skin remains smooth and elastic for longer. It also strengthens your nails and your hair gets more strength and shine.
How much fluid does your body need daily?
In a healthy adult, the daily fluid requirement is between 1.5 and 2 litres. This mainly refers to non-alcoholic and unsweetened drinks (water, teas, spritzers with a low juice content). The food pyramid or the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) shows an exact recommendation.
Important: The water requirement is individual and varies from person to person. It depends on the state of health, age, diet and daily energy consumption.
Which factors influence the fluid balance?
When you are sick, you sweat more than usual. Especially if you have a fever: your body heats up a lot faster. If you suffer from diarrhoea or vomiting, you will lose a lot of fluid. It is therefore particularly important to always drink a lot when you are ill. Even if you are taking medication, your body needs enough water to process it.
An infant needs less water than an adult. Only from the age of 15 should one drink at least 1.5 litres per day. Senior citizens are slightly below this minimum: They need between 1.3 and 1.5 liters a day. Nevertheless, you should be particularly careful in old age. The feeling of thirst becomes weaker, so it can happen that you drink far too little and your susceptibility to illness increases. This can include symptoms such as dementia, general weakness, confusion, lethargy or seizures.
A good diet includes not only healthy drinking habits but also plenty of fruit and vegetables. They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and you can even cover a small part of your water requirements. Are you also one of those people who like their food salty? Then it is all the more important that you drink enough water, because common salt dehydrates the body. You need a certain amount of salt to survive, but too much can cause illness. These would be, for example: Heart problems, water retention (edema) or high blood pressure.
Whether you do high performance sports or just go to the gym from time to time: exercise makes you sweat and thirsty. Drink enough and listen to your body. The more exercise you do, the more fluid you need. As a professional athlete it is especially important that you drink enough. Always keep your water bottle handy.
If you live in a country where it is particularly hot, you should be even more conscious about your drinking habits. Your body tends to "dry out" more easily, so it is all the more important that you are always sufficiently hydrated.
Five tips: To automatically drink more water
The TK drinking study reveals that women drink less than men. And 77% of them say they just forget about it. 56% have no time and even 17% find going to the toilet afterwards simply too time-consuming. Men also still drink too little on average. It is therefore important to integrate drinking more into your everyday life.
1. Start the day with a large glass of water
It is best to drink water before breakfast. This will get your entire body function going and provide a good foundation for the whole day. You can also refine your water with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon. The vital substances it contains, such as vitamin C and potassium, are good for your vitality.
Good to know: Thirst is often confused with hunger. This means: when the stomach growls or contracts, sometimes it just needs water. Why not give it a try: the next time you feel hungry, first have a glass of water and then you will see what your body wanted to signal to you.
2. Personal reminder
For people who often forget to drink, there are small reminders, such as sticky notes. Placed clearly visible, they help to think about the next glass of water.
3. A drinking app
If notes are not for you, download a drinking app to your smartphone. A personal drinking timer will then remind you to drink something regularly. Preferably every hour on the hour - and you'll be able to meet your daily requirements.
4. The water bottle always near you
Place your bottle of water right next to you or have it with you at all times in your pocket. Instead of plastic bottles, BPA-free drinking bottle advertising or bottles made of glass advertising are suitable. You can use them again and again. Make sure you refill your bottle at least twice a day - and of course drink it.
5. Take care of yourself
Your body talks to you: Pay attention to the inner signs and listen carefully. If you are thirsty, you should drink something - even if you think it's not right now or you don't have time for that now. Drink, it also increases your performance. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
What happens if you don't drink enough
Physical symptoms are sometimes misinterpreted or one does not know what they mean. But in many cases there is a simple explanation: too little fluid intake.
Here are the ten most common symptoms that can indicate an undersupply of water:
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
- Lack of concentration
- Dry lips
- Dry skin
- Circulatory problems/collapse
- Muscle cramps
If there is significant dehydration, the symptoms are all the more severe.
Delicious and healthy thirst quenchers
A healthy thirst quencher does not always have to be pure water. Water is the number one drink for quenching thirst, but it is not to everyone's taste.
Here are three tasty varieties for variety in your everyday drinking. Have fun tasting them.
Infused Water: This drink is ideal for spicing up simple tap water with an aromatic flavour, and it looks even nicer on top of that: Fill a carafe or your bottle with water and be creative. Raspberries, blackberries, limes, ginger, oranges or mint. You can take whatever you feel like. The fruits make the water glow and add their aroma to the taste.
Juice spritzers are a classic. However, you should make sure that you take more mineral water in proportion to the juice, 1 part juice and 2 to 3 parts water. You can easily make your own juice spritzer from any juice you like. Make sure to use juice with 100% fruit content and no additional sweeteners.
Tea varieties such as rooibos, fruits and herbs are also perfect thirst quenchers. Especially also in summer. Black or green teas are not so suitable for this purpose, as they have a dehydrating effect. Tea does not have to be drunk hot, but it must be boiled. Then you can also refrigerate it and turn it into delicious iced tea.
Whether water pure or refined - no matter what. The main thing is that you drink, and drink plenty of it. You will do your body nothing but good with it and protect it from disease. Your appearance gets more freshness and you feel well looked after all around.
A little trick at the end: If you think you've had enough to drink today, have another glass.
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Picture: istockphoto.com / SanneBerg, istockphoto.com / a_namenko