Stay fully hydrated to keep heat at bay

Stay fully hydrated to keep heat at bay
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I know I have mentioned this before but I cannot reiterate these words enough. Summer is upon us, and because of climate change, days and nights are heating up. We can no longer predict the high during this season because the weather gods are not predictable any more. Everywhere the summer season is hotter than what it has ever been. And I promise you this heat is only going to increase as the earth heats up more and more due to climate change.

According to water.usgs.gov, water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90 per cent of their body weight comes from water. And for humans? Up to 60 per cent of the human adult body is water!

According to H H Mitchell, Jou­rnal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73 per cent water, and the lungs are about 83 per cent water. The skin contains 64 per cent water, muscles and kidneys are 79 per cent, and even the bones are watery contain 31 per cent water.

Each day humans must consume a certain amount of water to survive. Of course, this varies according to age and gender, and also by where someone lives. Generally, an adult male needs about 3 litres per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 litres per day. This is the minimum quantum of water that human beings should drink to keep their cells from drying up. Athletes and people working in the sun or doing physical labour would of course need more.

Here are some interesting facts: According to Dr Jeffrey Utz of Allegheny University, different people have different percentages of their bodies made up of water. Babies have the most, being born at about 78 per cent. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65 per cent. In adult men, about 60 per cent of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. So obese or overweight people need to drink more water. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55 per cent of their bodies made of water.

This doesn’t mean that if you glug down the specified quantity of water over a short period of time, you are done! No way! You need to consume water consistently during the day. And the good news is that we can stay hydrated from consuming beverages, fruits, food and not just plain water.

It’s so easy to get our water from food during summer. The shops are full of water melons, musk melons and mangoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and many more. All of these are full of water and eating them gives us the taste benefit too.

I know many of us are wary of drinking water when we are out of the house because of the lack of good public sanitation. But by drinking less water, we are stopping our bodies from working at its optimal level. Don’t do this, it’s bad for your health. You can end up with infections of the urinary tract, or get stones in your kidneys or just get plain dehydrated.

Since we all know that we should keep our bodies alkaline as well as hydrated, here are a few ways to enjoy drinking your daily water. A great way to have the requisite quantity of water daily is to fill a jug with water, cut a few slices of lemons and add them to it. As you drink the water, you will get the lemony flavour too! Another great flavour is that of tulsi. Add basil leaves to the jug of water instead and get the flavour and benefit of tulsi as well.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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