Halal Consumer - Issue 27 - page 7

Unless we are working out at the gym or playing a sport, we tend
to neglect the idea of consuming more water, especially when
outside temperatures begin to drop. In fact, many of us can go all
day without even thinking about drinking water, particularly if
it is freezing outside and our bodies are no longer bombarded by
the hot summer sun.
Lisa R. Young, a registered dietician and adjunct professor in the
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New
York University, also states that even though we may not be sweat-
ing from the sweltering summer heat, it is just as important to
drink up and stay hydrated during the cold, winter weather. “In
the summer months, we’re sweating, so we’re conscious of it,” says
Young. “You need to be hydrated in all months. The difference
between summer and winter is in the summer you have a lot of
measures that can tell you if you’re getting dehydrated. In the win-
ter, you don’t think you need to drink more fluids.”
Even when the weather is brisk, the human body — made up of 60
percent water — naturally loses a lot of water through everyday
breathing, trying to stay warm, and perspiring. Add to this loss the
adverse effects of moving in and out of hot and cold temperatures
— from overheated indoor spaces to the icy cold outdoors — all of
which can lend itself to dehydration, when the body loses too many
fluids and then becomes unable to carry out normal functions. If
the body is not properly replenished, dehydration can easily mani-
fest in the forms of fatigue, dizziness, and headaches, and can even
cause drier-than-normal skin, hair, and nails.
Despite the lack of solid, scientific studies that support the rec-
ommended eight to ten glasses of water per day rule, according
to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), men need roughly 3 liters
(about 13 cups) of total beverages a day, whereas women require
2.2 liters (about 9 cups). Regardless of the required amount,
water is still considered one of the best beverages to consume in
order to stay hydrated as it promotes a healthy immune system,
aids in regulating body temperature, and helps flush out body
waste and other toxins.
But health experts, like Young, author of
The Portion Teller Plan
,
say our daily water intake does not have to come from water alone.
Nutrient-rich fluids can be obtained through other means, such as
consuming fruits and vegetables. According to the IOM, approxi-
mately 80 percent of our water intake comes from drinking water
and other beverages, while the other 20 percent comes from food
sources. Fruits and vegetables are great substitutes because of their
high water content and abundance of minerals. Young adds that
the beauty of consuming fruits and vegetables over simply drink-
ing water is that they have built-in hydration. Apples, for example,
are made up of about 84 percent water; meanwhile tomatoes are
made up of 94 percent water. Hot, herbal teas and soups are also
alternatives to drinking water, although Young recommends stay-
ing away from caffeinated teas and soups loaded with salt, as these
can dehydrate the body.
There’s no excuse. Be sure to eat and drink up this winter.
Here are some helpful tips to keep you hydrated this winter and all
year round.
Leave a glass of water at your bedside and drink it first thing
before getting out of bed in the morning. You’ll feel more
awake and refreshed.
Carry an extra water bottle in your purse or bag for when you
are at work or running errands. Having a bottle of water with
you at all times will encourage you to drink more.
Don’t enjoy the taste of plain, old water? Add fresh fruit like
watermelon or even sliced cucumber to add some flavor.
Mix things up by eating flavorful and spicy foods (within
moderation)! You’ll be reaching for that extra glass of water in
no time.
Enjoy a challenge? Consider playing water drinking games with
your friends and co-workers such as “water pong” or “water
bank.” You’ll drink water and have fun at the same time.
“There’s an app for that” like Waterlogged — Drink More
Water and other phone apps that can help you keep track and
monitor how much water you consume each day.
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