[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Although this is valid throughout the year, summer is a season particularly at risk of dehydration. So let’s talk about the importance of good hydration with a few tips.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Why is it important ?
Water is the main constituent of our body. In fact, an adult’s body is made up of 60% water, this even rises to 75% in infants.
Thus, water is one of the 3 essential elements for our life with oxygen and food. Without water, we cannot survive more than 3 days!
What is it for ?
Among many roles, water in our body primarily allows:
- Good blood circulation and oxygenation of our cells: our blood is made up of 50% water. However, it is the blood that allows oxygen to be transported to our organs and carbon dioxide to be removed so that it can be evacuated.
- Proper elimination of waste from our body via urine and stools: composed of 95% water, urine, produced by our kidneys, has the role of eliminating waste from our body. However, it is necessary to provide sufficient water to enable sufficient production and proper waste disposal. This is why the color of your urine is a good indicator of whether you are sufficiently hydrated. The lighter they are, the more it means that the waste is diluted and therefore that your hydration is sufficient. Conversely, if they are dark (bright yellow to brown), be careful of the risk of dehydration and urinary infection!
It is also necessary that your intestines are sufficiently hydrated in order to be able to form your stools and evacuate them properly. If you tend to be constipated, check your hydration!
Water is also an essential constituent of saliva (90% water) and skin (80% water), essential elements for the functioning of our body.
What does it mean to stay hydrated?
We lose water daily through urine, perspiration and breathing. It is therefore necessary to renew it.
The daily water needs of an adult are on average 2L5 per day. Knowing that around 1L is provided by our food, it is necessary to compensate for the rest of the losses by drinking around 1L5/day.
In the event of physical activity, intense heat or even diarrhea, as soon as the losses are greater, these needs are increased.
Rather tap water or mineral water?
In France, tap water being strictly controlled, it is the most economical source of water. In addition, it makes a gesture for our planet by avoiding the overconsumption of plastic.
Depending on your needs, the consumption of certain mineral waters may be interesting:
- Hépar® water helps combat constipation
- If you consume few dairy products, consuming mineral waters rich in calcium such as Contrex®, Salvetat®, Quézac® or Vittel® can supplement your intake.
Because of these mineral contents, certain mineral waters may be contraindicated if you suffer from certain pathologies, it is better to check with your doctor. Likewise, if you use mineral water for your baby’s bottles, be careful to choose one that is suitable and states so on the label.
Some tips for keeping yourself well hydrated
- If you feel the need to quench your thirst and you are thirsty, this means that you are already lacking water. It is therefore best to drink regularly in small sips.
- By putting a bottle of water on your desk: this will help you remember to drink regularly. It is better to choose a small bottle (500 mL) than a 1L5 bottle, less bulky, it also allows you to see your progress. And why not buy a pretty colorful bottle that will beautify your desk!
- By giving you benchmarks. For example: a glass of water/meal or by putting a glass of water at your hand basin in the toilet to take one each time you leave.
Be careful not to concentrate all your hydration during meals as this will cause you to drink large volumes at a time when your stomach is already occupied by your food. This increases the risk of reflux and can disrupt your satiation by expanding your stomach.
- By supplementing your hydration by consuming hot sugar-free drinks such as infusions, tea or coffee (be careful not to overdo it!) or in the form of cold tea or infusions that you can make at home (see below).
- By using an app that measures your water intake and can send you reminders if you’re insufficiently hydrated.
- Be careful with alcohol and sugary drinks, including fruit juices! Although they can provide a refreshing effect in the mouth when you eat them cold, they will dehydrate you because of their sugar and/or alcohol content.
- If you have children, regularly offer them a drink. In fact, they don’t necessarily think about it!
- Cold tea or infusion: put 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea or infusion or 1 sachet for 250 mL of water and let it infuse in the fridge for about 1 hour.
If you want to prepare a 1L5 bottle in advance, add 6 teaspoons of tea or infusion (or 6 bags) and leave to infuse in a cool place for 7-8 hours.
- Homemade flavored waters: in 1 liter of water, add 2 sprigs of fresh mint or ½ lemon or 1 stick of cinnamon… (according to your inspiration and desires) and let it infuse in your fridge for 2 hours before consuming. You can then leave them so that they continue to add flavor.
You can also make fruit infusions by cutting them into thin slices or pieces. Here are some examples :
- Orange, grapefruit and lime
- Peaches, blackberries…
And have a good hydrated summer everyone!