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Guide to Healthy Hydration 
Updated July 2020

 EmDo you know that you need to get the right amount of water to be healthy?

Water is essential for life. 

Particularly critical, when the weather gets hot and dry. 

Importantly so, when you are a child (especially if they are very active) or a senior (they may have a weaker sense of thirst) or those suffering from medical conditions. For instance, hydration can help in improving viscosity of the blood in terms of improving blood pressure. And pregnant ladies too, hydration and hydration in fruits and vegetable fibres also help against constipation.

Urgently so when you are exercising or doing physically challenged manual work. 

Why do you need water? Your body is nearly two-thirds water and your vital organs in the body needs fluid to function optimally. Adequate hydration in the body also keeps you cool, so your temperature does not hit the roof,  causing your body to shut down. 

Notice how high temperature progresses to fits and then total body shutdown after? Heat exhaustion...heat stroke can cause death. 

How much do you need?
8 - 12  glasses per day. Preferably more when you are fasting, and this does not include your coffee or tea.

Fasting & Hydration

How to ensure that you have at least 12 glasses of water in a fasting day in Ramadhan or Puasa Sunat?

1 glass upon waking up for sahor
2 glasses during Sahor after food

1 glass  with your dates at iftar
2 glasses after food 

1 glass before terawih

2 glasses after your terawih

2 glasses when you are eating your delicacies

1 glass before bed

Drink & Eat your water!
What to drink?
- water

- you can also "drink" your food eg broth, stew and soup. 20% of our total water intake comes from food.

- fruits and vegetables are fluid-rich content food eg watermelon. Fruits and vegetables  are usually more than 80% water.

- real fruit juices from real wholesome fruits (non sugar added) 

- Milk contains great essential nutrients such as protein, B vitamins and calcium, as well as being a source of water. However, it can be saturated fat-rich. Thus it is a good idea for adults and older children to choose semi-skimmed (less than 2% fat), 1% or skimmed milks. For children between the ages of one and two years, the recommended milk is whole milk. From two years onwards semi-skimmed milk can be introduced gradually. Skimmed and 1% milks are not suitable for children until they are at least five years old because they have less vitamin A and are lower in calories

Fruit juices and smoothies give you water plus some vitamins, minerals and natural plant substances from the fruit. Smoothies may also contain pureed fruit, which adds fibre. 

Soft drinks choose lower sugar or sugar-free (low calorie) versions instead.

Be wary of: 
- Alcohol. It "dries" you up such as wine and spirits. Especially on flights due to decompression in the cabin. So be wary.

- some drinks are acidic (e.g. fruit juice & carbonated drinks) or high in sugar content. This may cause dental erosion (damage to tooth enamel) if they are consumed frequently. For children, the use of a straw lessens the contact with teeth.

- sweetened drinks for its added calories. That might be your weight management hurdle to healthy body weight. Not to mention the health danger of diabetes.

- tea or coffee can contain caffeine, in moderate amounts caffeine doesn’t affect
hydration. Pregnant women are advised to consume no more than 200mg of caffeine a day roughly about 2 mugs of instant coffee or about 2 and a half mugs of tea. 

Urine hydration check?If you are getting enough water your urine should be a pale straw colour. Not dark yellow or orangy yellow or brown(that is blood in the urine!)

However, if you are taking Vitamin C supplements, you might see a bright orange. Dont panic. Thats the way your body rids itself of that extra vitamins.

Many sweat profusely when we exercise. So how do we ensure that we drink adequately for good hydration? 
- drink before (500 ml of water)
- drink during exercise (500 ml to 800 ml) of water
- drink after (500  ml) + soya bean reduced sugar (500 ml)

When exercises are longer than 2 hours in duration in extreme heat, do make sure to replenish the electrolytes with low calories sports drinks.

And yes, do weigh yourself before and after exercise. Well , that is the water weight you lose in sweat. So do hydrate to replace the hydration lost.

Many individuals , however,  are afraid of drinking water because they complained that it is very inconvenient to go pee. Sweating and peeing is the way your body regulates heat for wellbeing and health.

Water and Beauty Sleep

Do you know that lack or inadequate sleep makes you "dry". Here's how to overcome the zzzz problem:

Have you considered - Alarm clock for water time? That is what i prescribe for those who keeps forgetting to drink water. 
At the extreme, i become THEIR alarm clock! Get your friends to call you for reminder!

Yours in health, wellness and beauty always,
Dee Dee

For more articles on health, fitness, nutrition and stress management, visit

Dr Dee Dee Mahmood, multi award winning Celebrity Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, is the Regional Head (RAAN ECU) &  Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University Australia. Her PhD research on obesity was chosen for its impact on obesity in Asia and was accepted and presented at the President's Cup Award, American College of Sports Medicine Northwest Annual Meeting in Tacoma, Washington. Ambassadors to brands like Reebok, Norwegian Seafood Council and Celebrity Beaute, this TEDX  Speaker has several signature community programs to her name, Fat2Fit Asia and Walking Football for Health Asia. She conducts  synergy on community and corporate health and research collaborations internationally. 

Read more:

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