The Importance of Staying Hydrated

The Importance of Staying Hydrated
Whether you are an avid hiker, exercise enthusiast, or a couch potato, it is important to stay hydrated. Our bodies are 60% water and that means it takes a lot of fluid to keep our bodies working correctly.

Slight dehydration will be the first sign of your body not getting enough hydrating fluids in. If you become dehydrated, you can experience a number of unpleasant symptoms such as:
  • low blood pressure
  • headaches
  • feeling dizzy or disoriented
  • dark or strong-smelling urine
  • lack of urine
  • dry mouth, eyes, and lips
  • skin that lacks elasticity

In order to maintain proper hydration, most adult males should drink around 125 ounces per day. Women should drink 91 ounces per day. Getting this adequate amount of fluids in alkaline, filtered, or even some flavored waters, will help you to feel your best. Your skin will have better elasticity. Your mind will be more alert. Your kidneys will be flushed. Overall, toxins and trash in your systems will be rid at a much faster rate. In short - you will feel better.

The more dehydrated your body becomes, the more severe the symptoms become. For instance, light dehydration will cause thirst and dry mouth. In moderate dehydration, muscle cramps and confusion will occur. In severe dehydration situations, the lack of water will cause organ failure and shock.

If you are chronically dehydrated you will suffer from internal damage. Since water helps cells to carry nutrition, they may be nutrient-starved. Joints need fluid to help them stay lubricated. Lack of hydration translates to stiff joints. Mucous membranes in the eyes, nose and vaginal areas will dry out and become painful if there is a significant lack of fluid in the body. Your body will lose the ability to regulate it's temperature. These are the effects of being dehydrated for a relatively short time.

Long-term effects can be devastating and irreversible. Most people know that the kidneys need water to function properly. If there is a consistent lack of hydration, kidneys will not be able to flush the toxins from the body. Kidney stones can develop. Kidney stones are very painful, often requiring surgery to eliminate them. The intestines need water as much as the kidneys. Bowel problems like hardened stools and impaction can occur without proper fluids to move the waste out of the system. The urinary tract, especially in women, can really suffer from dehydration. Urinary tract infections occur when the body cannot flush wastes from the bladder. All of this can happen when your body does not stay properly hydrated.

Most people think that drinking just anything will help. This is a common misconception. There are drinks that actually deplete the fluids from the body, causing it to dry out more. Coffee is the number one culprit. Caffeine-rich products like coffee and sodas work as a diuretic. They actually rid the body of fluids. Since caffeine is a diuretic, it is important to limit the amount of coffee and soda you consume in order to stay hydrated and healthy.

Sugar is also a hidden culprit. Sugar will rob the body of fluids if it is consumed in excess. This is especially true if you suffer from high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is another issue caused by dehydration, this is a vicious cycle. In order to avoid more problems, it is important to drink enough fluid (without sugar or caffeine) to keep the body properly hydrated.

Alkaline water and other hydrating drinks are not the only keys to staying hydrated. You must also be aware of heat and exercise. Extreme exercise will rid the body of fluids in the form of sweat. Excessive exercise causes excessive fluid loss. Extreme heat can cause fluid depletion, too. If your job includes staying in the sun for extended periods you can lose lots of body fluid in a short amount of time. This can be very dangerous. In order to combat the loss, it is important to have access to water and sports drinks that replenish salts and minerals lost during sweating.

If you find yourself in a situation where excessive sweating has caused dehydration, it is vital to remember to rehydrate slowly. Gulping down large amounts of fluid will cause you to vomit. It can also cause cramping. Drink the water slowly over a period of time until you feel the dryness of your mouth go away. Confusion and lethargy should also start to dissipate. Do not over hydrate. When your urine is clear, you are hydrated properly.

Being aware of your body is the best way to stay hydrated and happy. Drink when you feel thirsty. Sip a drink if your mouth is dry. Watch your urine output for signs of darkening or yellowing. If this occurs, drink more. Of course, you must eat clean bro. Exercise and get proper sleep. All of this, along with the right amount of fluid intake, will help you to stay healthy and happy.

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