Tackling Daily Hydration – Spread it out or all at once?

Water is the best medicine, says Shizhen-Li, a physician of the Ming Dynasty. Some may only take it to quench taste, but maintaining proper hydration at regular times during the day can significantly improve physical and mental performance.

How much water you should drink daily depends on individual factors such as your environment, how active you are, your health status, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your eating habits, and more. Explore some of these factors below.


Eating Habits

If you regularly eat water-rich foods like apples, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelons, and oranges, you won’t need to drink as much plain water to meet your daily water needs.

Health Status

Certain health conditions may determine how much water you should take a day. For example, if you have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting, you may be losing more water than you may naturally replace at the time. So to prevent dehydration, you may need to replace these lost fluids.

Physical Activity Level

If you’re physically active, you’ll be losing more body water through sweats than when you’re sedentary. It’s also essential that you maintain optimum hydration before, during, and after physical activity to maintain physical performance. So the more physically active you are, the more water you may need.

Your Environment

You’ll typically need to hydrate more when in a hot climate or climate than otherwise.

Pregnancy + Breastfeeding Status

A person’s water requirement is usually higher when pregnant or breastfeeding.


When meeting your daily water needs, should you drink water all at once at a specific time during the day, or should you gradually meet up your hydration requirement by periodically taking water throughout the day? What are the benefits or consequences of choosing one hydration practice over the other?

Let’s take a look below.


Taking water consistently throughout the day v. taking all your water at once

It's important to make sure you replace more water than you lose during the day to maintain optimum hydration status. The best way to achieve this is by drinking water regularly throughout the day rather than consuming all your water requirements at a particular time during the day.

Here’s why: when you wait until a particular time of the day to take water, your body would have already lost enough fluid to leave you dehydrated. And if you try to fill up water lost by gulping in too much water at once, it may lead to a state of water-sodium imbalance called hyponatremia.

Your best bet for meeting your hydration requirement and combat dehydration: drink water consistently throughout the day.

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in. Water constantly leaves the body through urination, sweating, or vomiting. e.t.c. When you don’t replace your body water, you may experience dehydration, impacting your physical and mental functioning.

Typical signs that may indicate that you’re dehydrated include lightheadedness, fatigue, headache, dark yellow urine, thirst, and poor mood.

On the other hand, hyponatremia is a condition that happens when there’s excess water in the body, and the kidneys cannot excrete this excess water. According to an article published in the Indian Journal of endocrinology and metabolism, this condition is prevalent among marathon runners.

Hyponatremia may occur when a person following dehydration drinks too much water all at once, leading to a sodium deficit (blood sodium level below 135 milliequivalents/liter (mEq/L)) and making it impossible for the kidney to flush out the excess water content.


How drinking water impacts physical and mental performance throughout the day

Water is an essential nutrient that energizes you mentally and physically. When you drink it at regular intervals, you may reduce your chances of experiencing a dip in your daytime functioning levels.

Numerous studies suggest that water helps you maintain physical and mental functioning during the day.

Research shows that even mild dehydration may lead to tiredness, reduce endurance levels, make tasks appear more complicated than they are, and reduce your motivation levels. So if you need a boost to get you going through the day, consider adding water to your list of go-to foods or drinks to take.  

Additionally, water may impact cognitive performance in more ways than you may imagine. A 2012 study investigating the effects of mild dehydration on subjective mental state found that dehydration is associated with fatigue, daytime sleepiness, reduced calmness, energy, and alertness, and increased confusion. A 2016 study suggests that drinking water may enhance attention and memory, and mild dehydration is associated with poorer memory and attention levels.


How the PÜL SmartCap can train you to improve your hydration habits during the day

Drinking water consistently throughout the day benefits the body more than drinking all your water at once. But how do you track your water intake and make sure you don’t get carried away by the day’s activities so much that you forget to drink water?

This is where the PÜL SmartCap comes in. It helps you create healthy hydration habits by dividing your hydration goal for the day into smaller bits for you to achieve for the rest of the day. It'll then remind you to drink water at regular times during the day to meet your hydration goal.

The PÜL SmartCap also helps you determine your hydration requirement and sets personalized goals to achieve proper hydration status. It considers details like your age, weight, gender, activity levels, drinks (other than water) you regularly take, local weather when building out a hydration plan that works for you.


The PÜL SmartCap has an LED light reminder on the cap that glows blue when you’re on track with your hydration goal and flashes red when you’re behind, helping you track your hydration status in real-time.

The PÜL SmartCap trains you to build proper hydration habits and primes your body to drink water at various hours of the day. You can consider it your guide to living a healthy and well-hydrated life.


Be sure to share what you've learned by utilizing our infographic! Get started on your journey to optimal hydration by purchasing a PÜL SmartCap today!


Sources:

  • Wang CJ, Grantham JJ, Wetmore JB. The medicinal use of water in renal disease. Kidney Int. 2013;84(1):45-53. doi:10.1038/ki.2013.23
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water and Healthier Drinks. 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/water-and-healthier-drinks.html 
  • Gandy J. Water intake: validity of population assessment and recommendations [published correction appears in Eur J Nutr. 2015 Sep;54(6):1031]. Eur J Nutr. 2015;54 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):11-16. doi:10.1007/s00394-015-0944-8
  • Shaheen NA, Alqahtani AA, Assiri H, Alkhodair R, Hussein MA. Public knowledge of dehydration and fluid intake practices: variation by participants' characteristics. BMC Public Health. 2018;18(1):1346. Published 2018 Dec 5. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-6252-5
  • Sahay M, Sahay R. Hyponatremia: A practical approach. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014;18(6):760-771. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.141320
  • James L Lewis III. Hyponatremia. 2021. https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-disorders/hyponatremia
  • Pross N, Demazières A, Girard N, et al. Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women. British Journal of Nutrition. 2013;109(2):313-321. doi:10.1017/S0007114512001080
  • Pross N, Demazières A, Girard N, et al. Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women. British Journal of Nutrition. 2013;109(2):313-321. doi:10.1017/S0007114512001080
  • Benton D, Jenkins KT, Watkins HT, Young HA. Minor degree of hypohydration adversely influences cognition: a mediator analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(3):603-612. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.132605