Updated: Jun 22, 2021
The Importance of Hydration
Drinking enough water and staying well hydrated is one of the important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Water is needed in your body to survive and function. Every cell, tissue, and organ depends on water to function properly. If you are dehydrated and not drinking enough water your body organs won’t get the nutrients they need, the circulation of blood and essential nutrients in your body would not be optimal, and your body will feel tired and cranky. Whether you work in an office on a computer or you're an athlete spending lots of time in the sun, hydration is necessary to keep everything working properly.
The Role of Water in Our Body
For life, water is more important than food, sleep, and exercise. If we look at our digestion system, water plays a major role in the process of digestion and elimination of toxins from our body. It helps the body to produce saliva that moisturizes and breaks down the food in our mouth. The medium for nutrients to approach each cell of our body is water. When nutrients from food are absorbed in our intestine, water helps them to reach the cells of our body. Water provides lubrication to joints and the brain. Water also helps the body to maintain its temperature through sweating.
Body composition varies, but the average human body is made up of 60% water. Muscles are 76% and blood is 83% water. Even our bones are comprised of 22% water. Many essential functions take place in our body with the help of water:
Water is a building material for the cells in our body. Through respiration and sweating water is involved in the thermoregulation of our body. Our joints contain synovial fluid that is needed for lubrication. The process of elimination of toxins and waste materials is assisted by water.
Our blood plasma is 92% of water and carries all the nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. Because of this, hydration is a key to healthy skin.Proper hydration also helps to fight against viruses and bacteria, acting as a barrier in the mucous cell membrane.
Signs of Dehydration
Sometimes we ignore the signs of dehydration and forget to drink enough water due to our busy schedules. To keep our body properly hydrated we should keep an eye on the signs of dehydration. Thirst is the first sign and shouldn’t be ignored. The color of your urine can give you an insight into your hydration level. If your body is well hydrated the color of
your urine should be light and clear. But brown or dark color urine is a sign of dehydration.
Other symptoms of dehydration may include:
Dizziness and unsteady.
Tiredness and fatigue.
Muscle cramps or pains.
Lack of sweating.
Lack of focus and decreased cognitive abilities.
Complications Associated with Dehydration
The common causes of dehydration are diarrhea, sweating, and vomiting. It takes place when you are drinking less water and excreting more. When you are dehydrated your body can not function as it should and it can cause some serious health issues. Mild dehydration can cause constipation, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps but severe and untreated dehydration can result in life-threatening consequences such as:
Low blood volume
How to Stay Hydrated
According to the National Health Service UK, the recommended amount of water is 6-8 glasses per day. This doesn’t include only clear liquid water but other fluids such as tea, milk, low sugar drinks are also included. To stay adequately hydrated you should drink water when you wake up in the morning, drink water before a meal, drink water before an exercise, and drink water an hour before going to sleep. Following are some other tips and guidelines that will help you to stay hydrated throughout your whole day.
Consume foods with high content of water such as cucumber, watermelon, peach, orange, and lettuce.
Drink water regularly - before you get thirsty. Drink water before, during, and after your workout. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go and drink constantly throughout the day.
Sometimes the body confuses thirst with hunger. Drink water when you feel hungry. Water doesn’t suppress real hunger, but it will help with weight loss by thwarting false alarms.
Limit your caffeinated beverages. Caffeinated drinks stimulate excessive urination and can cause dehydration. Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine. Rather than energy drinks try to have sports drinks if you are going for a high-intensity workout.
Keep in Mind
Good hydration is crucial for better functioning of our body physically and mentally. Think of sleep and hydration as the foundations for your health journey. If you want to boost your focus, energy, and concentration keep a bottle of water with you as often as you can this summer, remember the signs of dehydration and drink plenty of water!