Stay Hydrated: Why Is It So Important?
Why is it so important to stay hydrated?
Your body depends on water to survive. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? All cells, tissues and organs in your body need water to function properly. For example: Your body uses water to maintain temperature, eliminate waste and lubricate joints. Water is important for good health.
How is my body dehydrated?
Every day, you become dehydrated when using the toilet, sweating and even breathing. You lose water more quickly when the weather is hot, exercising or having a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid dehydration. Without replenishing the amount of water lost, you could be dehydrated
How do I know if I'm dehydrated?
Signs of dehydration include:
Little or no urine, or darker urine than usual.
Drowsiness or tiredness.
Thirst for dry throat.
Loss of sanity.
Feeling dizzy, lightheaded.
Crying does not shed tears
Don't wait until you notice the signs of dehydration to take action.
Sometimes it's hard to recognize when you're dehydrated, especially for older people. Take the initiative to prevent dehydration by drinking lots of water.
How much water should I drink per day?
There are various tips on how much water to drink each day. Most people are advised to drink 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses (approximately 236 ml) of water a day, a reasonable goal. However, everyone needs different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other drinks when they feel thirsty. For some people, less than 8 drinks may be enough, but others may need more than 8 drinks a day.
Some people are at higher risk of dehydration, including those who are very active, people with certain medical conditions, the sick, or those who cannot afford to drink enough water for a day.
Older people are also at greater risk of dehydration. As you age, your brain may no longer feel dehydration to make you feel thirsty.
If you are worried that you may not be drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is always colorless or pale yellow, it can be said that your body is well hydrated.
You may need to drink more water if you:
Some diseases such as kidney stones, cystitis.
Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Going to go out in the hot weather.
Fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
Trying to lose weight.
Besides water, what else can I eat and drink to stay hydrated?
Water is the best option to stay hydrated. There are also several other drinks and foods that can help keep you hydrated, but some sugary drinks will add extra calories to your diet. Beverages such as vegetable juices, milk and herbal teas can contribute to providing just the amount of water you should drink each day. Even caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and soda water count towards your daily water intake - to some extent. However, it is still best to limit these drinks because caffeine can cause people to urinate more often or feel anxious or restless. A moderate amount of caffeine, 200-300 mg (equivalent to 2 to 4 cups of 8-ounce coffee, which is about 236ml), is usually harmless for most people.
Water is also found in vegetables and fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes and lettuce, and in broth.
What about sports drinks?
For most people, just drinking water can keep you hydrated. However, if you're going to do high intensity exercise for more than an hour, a sports drink might be helpful because it contains sugars to help prevent hypoglycemia. Sports drinks also help replenish electrolytes if you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
Choose sports drinks wisely because they are high in sugar and can be high in sodium. Also remember to check the ration of that drink. A bottle of water may contain several servings. Many sports drinks contain caffeine.
If you drink sports drinks that contain caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet.
Sports drinks are different from energy drinks. Energy drinks often contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants (such as guarana or taurine) that your body doesn't need. Most of these drinks also contain lots of sugar. Many experts recommend that children and teens not drink energy drinks.
The secret to staying hydrated
Always carry a water bottle with you. Think of carrying a reusable water bottle and refilling from the tap instead of buying bottled water that is both expensive and wasteful by disposing of plastic bottles.
If you don't like drinking pure water, try adding a glass of lemon juice to it.
If you're preparing to exercise, make sure you drink water before, during and after you exercise.
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