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by inKin
15 Apr

The Best Superfoods - A to Z: W is for Water

In the words of the German poet Hermann Hesse, water is not just water, “but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.” It also happens to make out 55-60% of our adult bodies and is a source of life for all beings on earth. Human beings have to take in a certain amount of water every day to survive. But how much water should you drink per day?

Before we delve into that question, let’s take a look at the composition of water.

 

Nutrition Facts  

Water nutrition facts aren’t very spectacular. Here’s some nutrition information for one cup of tap water: 

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Sodium: 9.5mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Calcium: 7.11mg
  • Magnesium: 2.37mg

 

Basically, there’s not much to see, mostly a bunch of zeros because water doesn’t have any carbs, fat, or protein. But depending on the source of your water, it can contain some vitamins and minerals. 

 

The list of nutrients changes completely if we consider variations of water. Lately, coconut water has become a hype among millennials and not without reason. Containing 94% water and next to no fat or carbs, coconut water is a solid contender for actual water because it’s low in calories and comes with important nutrients that your good ol’ tap water lacks.  

  • Calories: 46
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 11% of the RDI
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Calcium: 6% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 17% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI

 

Health Benefits

“Drink plenty of water” is probably, without exaggeration, something that absolutely everyone on this planet has heard before--and rightly so! 

Among the many health benefits that water brings, the most significant ones are the following:

 

It prevents dehydration.

One very important benefit of drinking enough water is that it keeps your hydration levels steady. This is especially true when you’re exercising or are in hot environments both of which lead to perspiration and consequently a loss of your body’s water content.

Losing as much as 2% of your water content can have negative impacts on your well-being, causing fatigue, unregulated body temperature, and much more. 

 

It regulates your body temperature.

When you’re hot, you sweat. This sweat then dissolves and moderates your body’s temperature. Without enough water intake, you risk causing a rise in your body temperature. 

 

It’s crucial for your kidneys & other bodily functions.

Your kidneys cleanse your blood. If left dehydrated, your kidneys will form kidney stones or develop a urinary tract infection, both of which can lead to kidney damage. 

Similarly, your bowel movement depends on hydration. Not drinking enough water can cause high stomach acid (leading to acid reflux, heartburn, etc.), constipation, and indigestion. 

 

It’s good for your skin.

Ever heard a celebrity getting asked about how they have such young and healthy skin, and all they reply is “Drink plenty of water.”? Yeah, we hate that answer, too. BUT there’s some truth to it. 

It’s pretty self-explanatory, really. If you don’t stay hydrated, your skin is more susceptible to skin disorders and early on wrinkling. 

 

It can help you lose weight.

You must’ve heard this one before: Drink a glass of water before every meal so that your stomach is full and there’s less space for food. It helps you avoid overeating. 

 

Makes hangovers more bearable.

There’s plenty of reasons why people get a hangover, one of which is that alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration. That’s why we recommend you match every glass of alcohol with a glass of water. It won’t completely get rid of a hangover but it will help with the unbearable headaches.

 

How much water should you drink per day? 

According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

  • a woman should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water (or fluids) per day, while 
  • a man should drink 4 cups (i.e. 1 liter) more, mounting up to 15.5 cups and 3.7 liters. 

 

Note that other liquids are also included in these suggestions. And keep in mind that this is only a rough guide. Your water intake can vary depending on your activities, environment, health, and other factors. Just in case you need it, here are 5 ways to boost your water intake.

 

The best way to tell whether you’re drinking enough fluids is by making sure you’re seldom thirsty and your urine color light yellow or even colorless.  

 

Just make sure that you don’t overdo it. In rare cases, drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia. This basically means that your kidneys can’t purge the rest water, thereby thinning out the sodium in your blood. This in turn can become fatal.

 

I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.

 

Now, there’s a bunch of things you can do with water. But here’s one that’s simple and comes recommended from Queen B herself. 

In the prelude to her song All Night, Beyonce shares her grandmother Agnéz Deréon's lemonade recipe, who she delightfully calls an “alchemist who spun gold out of this hard life.” 

 

Ingredients: 

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • 8 lemons

 

Instructions in Beyonce’s own words: 

  • Take one pint of water 
  • Add half a pound of sugar. 
  • The juice of eight lemons, 
  • The zest of half lemon. 
  • Pour the water from one jug, then into the other several times. 
  • Strain through a clean napkin.

 

Not only does this recipe turn water into a refreshing summer drink, but it also provides vitamin C, supports digestion, and prevents kidney stones. 

 

Especially in times of COVID-19, it’s important to boost your immunity by staying hydrated and taking in enough vitamin C.  

 

For those of you who are struggling with this during these energy-draining lockdowns, make sure to check out inkin’s Corporate Wellness program to encourage co-workers and friends to keep a healthy level of water intake through Water Challenges. 


For more superfoods, follow this link.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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