How to reduce edema, why drink so much water and why?
You've probably heard that "The human body contains 90% of water“. In fact, this is only true for the fetus, which really consists of 90% water, but for infants it is already around 80% water, for children - around 70%, for adults - around 60%, and for the elderly around 55%.
However, if an adult suffers from excess weight, then his body may contain from 1 to 20 liters of excess water, depending on the body weight. During slimming, the removal of excess water gives the first noticeable results.
Why drink water?
- Water transports food nutrients to all cells of our body - nourishes them and provides energy;
- Waste is removed from the cells. Purification of the body at the level of organs and cells is not possible without sufficient water (and a balanced diet);
- Regulates our body temperature (we sweat and thus cool) - without sweating we would die from overheating.
- Provides production of saliva and digestive juices (7-8.5 liters of water are involved);
- Regulates metabolism (inside and outside the cell) and supports biochemical processes (such as food conversion into energy). It is impossible to lose weight without a proper drinking regimen!
- Provides synovial fluid formation (lubricant for our joints);
- Moisturizes the inhaled air, helping to absorb oxygen;
- Ensures optimal functioning of the kidneys and gallbladder, protecting them from the formation of stones;
- Provides optimal blood viscosity, thus preventing the formation of blood clots.
There is a widespread misconception that you should drink less water if you suffer from edema. It is not true! The more you restrict your water intake, the more your body will try to store fluid - because water is vital for it and any restriction causes a stressful and protective reaction. Accordingly, edema occurs - water reserves in the body. This is especially true in hot weather, when the body's water consumption increases significantly, but our drinking habits do not change much.
Paradoxically, drinking water both helps to reduce swelling and stimulates weight loss.
How much water should I drink?
Every day our body uses the water at its disposal. How much and where is it spent?
- 1000 - 1500 ml is excreted in the urine;
- 500 - 1000 ml is excreted in sweat (depending on the ambient temperature and your activity);
- 400 - 500 ml we exhale together with the exhaled air;
- 100 - 200 ml are spent during defecation;
In total, our body excretes every day: 2000 - 3200 ml of water.
To supplement water loss, we need, on average, every day:
- Drink 1500 - 2000 ml of clean drinking water. In hot weather, when the appetite decreases, it is desirable to drink mineral water, because when sweating, our body also loses salts;
- Ingest 400 - 700 ml of water with food (preferably with vegetables or fruits and berries).
A total of 2000 - 3200 ml of water (30 ml and 1 kg of own weight) should be taken daily.
Metabolism or Metabolic Water - or how edema occurs
Our bodies have a hormonal water regulation system that:
- Exclude excess water with urine - if too much water is supplied. In this case, the body weight remains the same.
- Activates the fluid retention mechanism (decreases in the amount of urine) and also produces more metabolic water - if less water is delivered during the day than usual. The result is edema.
Metabolic water is not water that enters the body from the outside, it is water produced by the body itself during the breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis) or fat (lipolysis) into energy (about 9-10 g for every 100 calories).
As you can see, reducing water consumption is completely unjustified and, in essence, harmful to us. Therefore, if you do not want to carry extra kilograms of water and to avoid not only swelling but also other problems, try to drink 1.5 - 2 liters of clean water a day or more precisely 30 ml per 1 kg of your weight.
Dehydration symptoms (you drink too little water)
CAUTION! These symptoms are not specific to dehydration and may indicate other conditions / illnesses, so always consult your doctor if in doubt.
- Apathy (chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Nausea (including morning sickness during pregnancy)
- Heartburn (GERD - irritation of the esophagus caused by stomach acid)
- Digestive and food absorption disorders
- Constipation (and diarrhea - the consequences of the above point)
- Dry skin, as well as its sagging and rapid skin aging
- Onset or exacerbation of inflammatory processes
- Osteoarthritis / arthritis, joint stiffness (due to decreased synovial fluid, inflammation, etc.)
- Headaches, migraines
- Dry eyes (the mucous membranes dry out)
- Increased feeling of hunger (some people mix hunger and thirst because the centers of hunger and thirst in the brain are close to each other)
- Common cold (weakened immunity)
- Presence of sand or stones in the kidneys and gallbladder
- Decreased amount of urine (its colors become darker)
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