Water: what you need to know to choose the right one

    Water: what you need to know to choose the right one

    To cover our body's fluid needs we should drink at least 1 and a half liters of water every day. Whether it is the bottled one (preferred by most of the villagers) or the one from the tap, it doesn't matter. The essential thing to feel good is first and foremost avoid running dry.

    As the doctor explains Elena Dogliotti, nutritionist biologist and researcher at the Umberto Veronesi Foundation: "It is enough for our body to lose just over 20% of its water reserves to face the risk of death". Water is the basis of the communication between our cells (allows the displacement of hormones and neurotransmitters), is the main constituent of our body fluids (from ocular to synovial, to cerebrospinal), is the means for bring nourishment to the various organs and eliminate waste.

    «As we age», continues Dr. Dogliotti, «the metabolism slows down and the intra and extracellular water content drops, favoring the appearance of many diseases typical of old age, such as osteoarthritis. For the same reason (the reduction of fluids in the body) some of our pots may close or shrink to ensure the correct inflow in the rest, with the consequence (possible, not inevitable) of an increase in blood pressure ».


    It is much easier to resist a lack of solid food than a lack of water.

     «The symptoms of dehydration are clear and they appear faster than you think», Is written in one of the notebooks Health at the table which you can download for free online from the website of the Veronesi Foundation . "Kidney fatigue, dry skin and numbness these are only the first signs of a poor intake of liquids which can lead to very serious consequences, compromising the functions of the whole organism », explains Dr. Dogliotti.

    «The human body is equipped with mechanisms of sensory control and regulation of thirst which cause most of us to reintroduce the fluids lost in daily life. But over the years these sensors (present in the oropharyngeal mucosa, between cells and in large veins) they are less active than normal". That is why you should drink even when you do not yet feel the sensation of dryness in the mouth.

    And if by any chance you think that refilling liquids "serves" only to make you run to the bathroom more frequently, big mistakes. In fact, drinking water regularly during the day is important not only to live, but also to live better, with a whole series of benefits for the body. Let's find out in detail.

    The more you hydrate, the more you lose weight (BECAUSE THE LESS YOU EAT)

    According to a study by the University of Illinois (USA) published in the Journal of Human and Nutrition and Dietetics drinking consumes fewer calories (from 69 up to 206 per day). The researchers interviewed more than 18 people on the amount of water they usually drink and saw that an increase, even minimal, compared to normal habits (1 to 3 glasses more) made the difference. And not only as regards the energy supply.

    The introduction of sugar was also minor (decreased by 6-18 grams), sodium (decreased by 78-235 milligrams) and cholesterol (decreased by 7-21 grams). The reasons? American scholars have identified two of them: the greater consumption of water reduces the intake of sugary drinks; Furthermore fills the stomach giving a sense of satiety which prompts you to give up some snacks. The data that emerged from this research they will now be deepened. Especially to see if they can apply to people from countries who follow a diet completely different from that of the Americans.

    "But one thing is certain," says the doctor Sara Farnetti, specialist in Internal Medicine and Ph.D. in Pathophysiology of Metabolism at the Catholic University of Rome. "If you introduce a few liquids, blood levels of vasopressin rise, a hormone that decreases urine output to compensate for dehydration. This substance stimulates the liver to release sugar (although the body does not need it) and the pancreas to produce insulin to lower blood sugar, transforming the surplus of glucose present in the blood into fat (i.e. in extra pounds). On the contrary, if the cells are well hydrated, the vasopressin values ​​do not increase and you can (if not lose weight) at least easily maintain your weight ».

    However, it is necessary to dispel a myth: no studies have so far shown that drinking helps fight cellulite. "This imperfection depends on the increase (due to hormonal causes) of localized fat and not on the fact that we consume few or many liquids", says the doctor Diana Scatozza, specialist in food science in Milan. And also the most diuretic water it is not used to combat water retention which favors the formation of orange peel.


    «To function at their best, neurons need over 45 different nutrients, of which the most important is water », warns the teacher Lisa Mosconi, founder of the Nutrition & Brain Fitness Lab of New York University and author of the very recent Feeding the brain (Mondadori, € 19). «It is now proven that dehydration accelerates the shrinkage of gray matter which occurs over the years. It has also been calculated that even the slightest lack of fluids instantly causes a variety of ailments including fatigue, mental confusion, energy drops, headaches and mood swings, while it has been found that drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day can increase brain performance by 30% ».

    A useful indication also for students, given that as children we often tend to drink less than we should.


    So far we have talked about the benefits of water in general. But if you want to get even more than just hydration, pay attention to the nutritional profile than what you drink.

    «Type and quantity of minerals present, in addition to the degree of acidity or alkalinity, they affect the "healing" effects, making one water more suitable than another for achieving a specific goal ", says the food technologist Giorgio Donegani. To identify the best water, age should also be taken into account.

    «For Kids medium-mineral waters, sources of calcium, magnesium and fluorine are fine ”, suggests the notebook of the Veronesi Foundation. "To adults those with trace elements or minerals depending on your lifestyle (if you do a lot of sport or, in general, when you sweat a lot it is better to focus on the latter). For pregnant or menopausal women (which have an increased need for calcium) calcium water is more suitable. In the end, for the elderly, both calcium (to prevent the risk of fractures) and magnesium sulphate (which counteract intestinal laziness) are fine ».


    Sticking to the bottle isn't enough to counteract dehydration. It is also necessary to move. To support this, in the book Drink that passes you (Piemme, € 17,90), I am the anthropologist Gina Bria and the integrated medicine expert Dana Cohen.

    According to the two US researchers, that's enough do small stretching exercises or rotation of the neck, shoulders and ankles for activate our internal aqueduct, made up of an extremely thin specialized tissue, called fascia, that surrounds the organs, bones and subcutis.

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