An alarming trend has been observed in five years – the number of people who drink enough water per day has decreased by 12%, according to the latest “My Pharmacy and Apotheka Health Index”. Experts emphasize that as winter approaches, people should pay special attention to the amount of fluid ingested per day, as this is not only necessary for the normal functioning of the body, but can also significantly help strengthen immunity.
Slightly more than half (56%) of the Latvian population do not drink enough water per day. The least common water consumers are men (62%) and people with unhealthy lifestyles (71%), while fewer women (50%) and people with healthy lifestyles (49%).
“Five years ago, the results of the study showed that more than half of the Latvian population drinks at least 1 to 1.5 liters of water a day, while this year this figure is already lower – only 44%. The trend is declining and very worrying – the number of people who drink enough water on a daily basis is declining. The less water we drink, the worse we are, and it can also mean more frequent illness. With the fast pace of life, it is important not to forget about the basic needs of the body, including drinking. If you feel tired, drowsy, lose your ability to concentrate – especially in the afternoon, it can be considered a sign that the body lacks water, ”says certified pharmacist Amanda Ozoliņa.
How much water is enough?
It is believed that the amount needed per person per day ranges from one to 1.5 liters of pure water – and it can not be replaced by tea, coffee or other beverages. The pharmacist explains that the recommended daily water consumption depends on several factors – body weight, lifestyle, health. For example, a person with an active lifestyle should take in more water than a person who does not engage in physical activity on a daily basis. On the other hand, if a person has health problems, it is recommended to consult a doctor about the water consumption he needs. PIt is generally estimated that you need to drink 30 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day.
In winter, water consumption decreases
As the weather gets colder, the amount of water you drink per day decreases for a number of reasons, such as less visible reminders, and thirst less often than in summer. In cold weather, people also urinate more often because the blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises and the body expels excess fluid to normalize it. Consequently, the loss of fluid in the cold is higher. Pharmacist Amanda Ozolina explains why remembering to drink enough water in winter is just as important as in summer.
# 1 Winter dehydration
In the cold months, people tend to dress in several layers, wrap themselves in blankets and be in heated rooms. This artificially heated environment can cause so-called winter dehydration, which is harder to notice because people sweat less, which is the main indicator of dehydration in summer. In cold weather, the human body also loses moisture in other ways, such as through the mouth and nose exhalation, which is best seen in winter. In addition, it is important to remember to drink water even if you do not want to – the absence of thirst does not automatically mean that the body has received enough water.
# 2 Stronger immunity
The winter months can be a test for the immune system, especially in these conditions when the new coronavirus Covid-19 is in addition to the usual viruses. The amount of water ingested per day is very much related to the immune system, as it not only helps to improve the body’s cells, which are needed to protect against various bacteria, but also helps the body naturally remove toxins that can cause disease if left in the body.
# 3 Healthier skin
Cold and dry indoor air from a heated room can adversely affect the condition of the skin. Most often, a regular transition from rooms with dry air to being outside – in humidity, cold, wind, causes cracking or flaking of the skin. Currently, special attention is paid to hand hygiene and disinfection, as a result of which the skin loses moisture and becomes dry. Therefore, special care should be taken with the amount of water ingested, as it helps to moisturize the skin and reduces the risk of peeling of both the face and hands.
“Mana Aptieka & Apotheka Health Index” is an annual measurement of the self-assessment and prevention trends of the health status of the Latvian population. The index has been compiled in cooperation with the market and public opinion research center SKDS, every year a representative number of people aged 18 to 75 are surveyed in direct interviews.