Water makes 60 percent of our body’s weight, and this simple fact makes drinking water an essential part of keeping our body healthy. We can survive without food for weeks but it only takes days or even a couple of hours for our body to shut down from dehydration.
It is recommended that we drink eight glasses of water a day and drinking more is better. But we don’t have to strictly follow the eight glasses rule since 20 percent of our water intake comes from solid food such as fruits and vegetables.
Water is essential in our body’s normal functioning. It is a natural lubricant that keeps our joints and muscles moving smoothly. It is also a natural antioxidant that helps flush out body waste. Water also function in regulating body temperature, it helps release internal body heat through perspiration. Drinking a glass of water before meals also helps you lose weight. Just like solid food, water takes stomach space helping you feel fuller even when eating less.
Signs of Dehydration
Prolonged dehydration can lead to serious health problems and even death. And this can be very dangerous for toddlers and infants who are not able to verbally express their condition. Diarrhea especially in infants can be very dangerous and life threatening. Fluids are easily lost through the stool this along with vital nutrients and electrolytes.
Headache, delirium and light headedness
An ominous sign of dehydration especially for athletes or those participating in physical activities are those that affect their mental condition. Long distance runners for example might feel confused when too much water is lost through perspiration.
Other symptoms include dizziness, weakness and even nausea as not enough fluid is circulating in the body. The brain suffers because not enough nutrients or fluids are reaching it. The brain is one of the hungriest organs and when it is not fed our mental condition suffers.
Dry mouth and extreme thirst
We crave for food when we’re hungry and thirsty when there is not enough water in the body. The body sends clear signals when something’s wrong. And the sooner we identify these signals, the quicker we can remedy the condition.
Water can be lost through the skin when exposed to extremely hot temperatures. Drinking water is highly advised during extreme physical activities or prolonged exposure to the sun.
Fatigue or sudden tiredness
Dehydration affects us physically and mentally. With more than half of our body composed of water, the mind and muscles would not work as efficiently. Without the right amounts of water, we become less alert and confused. This holds true even while we’re exercising or resting.
Muscle cramps can also occur with dehydration. Water is not only loss during perspiration, salt and electrolytes are also released. Go the extra mile by drinking sports beverages loaded with electrolytes and sodium. The sodium or salt helps your body retain more water.