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6th July 2021
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Water is life: Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty, here’s why

It’s important to take up to 3 litres of water per day, say doctors

Published: July 05, 2021 19:18
Jay Hilotin, Senior Assistant Editor , Biju Mathew, Online Editor , Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor , Yousra Zaki, Assistant Editor Features , Seyyed Llata, Senior Designer and Vijith Pulikkal, Assistant Product Manager

Dubai: Are you thirsty? Then you’remost probably already dehydrated. Thirst is a survival instinct. If you’re working in hot weather, doctors advise that water must be consumed every 15 to 20 minutes. Dehydration is the absence of a sufficient amount of water in your body — when your body loses more fluid than you drink. Chronic dehydration, they warn, could ruin your key body organs, including your brain.

Some basic water facts to know: Water is life. All living things require water. Every day, you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements, which is why it’s important to continue to take in water throughout the day.

So, for your body to function at its best, you must replenish its water supply — with water. Other options would be beverages and foods that contain water. Dr. Shailesh Uniyal, Dermatologist at Zulekha Hospital, gives a rule of thumb: drink water — from 2.5 to 3 litres, if you’re an adult — per day.

Yes, drink water — even if you don’t feel thirsty

It’s a fact of life: Every cell in our body needs hydration. Drinking enough water is vital for keeping hydrated and for general health, say experts.

“Every cell of our body has 70% water,” Dr. Uniyal, Dermatologist at Zulekha Hospital. “Hydration is important especially in summer because of excessive perspiration,” added Dr Uniyal, a fellow of the American International Academy of Dermatology.

Long-term effects of constant dehydration

"One of the reasons you should not wait to feel thirsty is that as your body ages, it is not as able to send thirst signals to your brain when you are dehydrated,” explained Dr Foroozan Khezri, Specialist Urologist, Medcare Hospital, Al Safa, Dubai.

“When we feel thirsty the body is already dehydrated then we receive signal of thirsty, and dehydration cause headaches, stone formation in the kidney and weakness,” Dr Khezri added. “However, remember it is also possible to drink too much water.”

The best way to tell if you are getting enough water is the colour of your urine. “If your urine is colourless or only slightly yellow each day, you are probably getting enough liquid,” says Dr Khezri.

When should you drink water?

Dr Muhammed Shafeeq Kalladi, Pulmonology Specialist, Aster Hospital- Qusais, Dubai, said not feeling thirsty is “not a reliable indication” that you don’t need water. "If we are accustomed to consuming water throughout the day. we will be keeping the body systems in perfect conditions. Not feeling thirsty is not a reliable indication that you don’t need water,” said Dr Kalladi.

Why do we need to drink so much water?

“Our body uses water in all its cells, tissues and organs. The intestines, kidneys and brain function properly when there is enough fluid to purify the system,” Dr Kalladi explained.

“If we wait until we are thirsty before we drink water, it is possible that even if nothing deadly happens to us, the body will not perform its function perfectly. In addition, by accommodating the toxins we can get poor health,” he added.

“The first thing to know is that water is not to quench our thirst. Thirst is a sign that we are dehydrated. Our body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion. So it is very important to re-hydrate.”

What happens when you don't drink enough water?

Dehydration could trigger mild to severe issues, depending on how bad is your water intake. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of lack of drinking enough water. Slugging bowel moment in another issue. Dehydration also shows in the form of dry skin. Fatigue and brain fog, leading to plummeting energy levels is another downside of lack of water.

What happens when you drink too much water?

When you drink too much water, you may experience water poisoning, intoxication, or a disruption of brain function. This happens when there's too much water in the cells (including brain cells), causing them to swell. When the cells in the brain swell they cause pressure in the brain, among others.

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