Staying Hydrated – More Serious Than Many Think
Staying hydrated is something most everyone knows and we’re constantly reminded it is to drink water every day. It’s perhaps one of the best things we can do for our bodies, because we use water in nearly every function. The body relies on water to survive, as it uses it to regulate and maintain temperature, lubricate joints and get rid of waste.
Staying hydrated is essential for the function of the human body, and luckily the symptoms of dehydration are fairly easy to spot. It’s important to know exactly what staying hydrated does, the various ways you can hydrate without drinking water, and just how dangerous dehydration can be.
Truth About Dehydration
Dehydration is perhaps one of the most avoidable health issues, simply because of the fact that it’s fixable just by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. There are, however, plenty of symptoms to look out for that act as warning signs for dehydration. These symptoms include headaches, little to no urine, dry mouth and dizziness.
Some are at a higher risk for dehydration than others, and it depends on a number of factors. Those with a bladder infection or kidney stones are generally at a higher risk, as are people who exercise at a high intensity or are pregnant. It’s so important to listen to your body, and stay hydrated.
Alternate Hydration Methods
Water isn’t the only thing you can drink to stay hydrated. In fact, there are things you can eat that help keep you hydrated incredibly effectively. Watermelon is a great example of a food that has a high water content and is therefore excellent for hydration. In fact, watermelon contains 92 percent water — hence the name.
Celery is also a great option, as they’re high in water as well as rich in fiber and minerals. Studies have also shown, celery can help regulate, and even help lower your blood pressure. Cucumbers are also an excellent food that contains 96 percent water.
On the drinking side, it’s not just water you can consume. Sports drinks can be a great thing and always come packed with certain vitamins, electrolytes and proteins to help other aspects of your health and not just your ability to stay hydrated. Coconut water, smoothies and even skim milk are all beverages that can help prevent dehydration.
The ‘Eight Glasses’ Myth
Though it’s long been said that the right amount of water to drink on a daily basis is 8 cups, it’s not quite as simple as that and the number varies slightly depending on certain factors.
“It’s not the recommendation,” dietitian Rachel Berman said. “But it’s also not that far off. For women, it’s about 11 cups and for men it’s about 15 cups. But remember, that includes 20 percent from food.”
In fact, there is no basis in science whatsoever for the touted number of 8 glasses per day.
“Optimal hydration depends on many variables, including the climate you live in and how active you are,” a report from the Herald Tribune stated.
“The Dietary Reference Intakes from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division pinpoint 13 cups of total beverages for men and nine cups for women as the average adequate intake for proper hydration in temperate climates — emphasis on total beverages. That number assumes you are getting about 20 percent of your fluid from food.”
In the end, no matter how you go about doing it, staying hydrated is incredibly important. If you’re not into regular old water, try eating certain foods that are rich in water or drinking sports drinks and other hydrating beverages to make sure you’ve got the energy to get through the day and water your body needs to survive.