Most people don’t think they need to worry about dehydration. To them, dehydration is something that happens to travellers in the desert when they run out of water. But there is a chronic form of dehydration that is widespread in the present day that affects everyone who is not drinking enough liquid.
Water is such an important element : It constitutes 75% of our brain, it regulates body temperature, and makes up 83% of our blood. Every day we lose about two cups of water by sweating and exhaling, even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 30%. Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue; in fact just a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short term memory, trouble with basic arithmetic and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. So we need to drink water regularly!
The most important constituent in cellular health is the fluids the cells swim in. By keeping our level of hydration up we make sure that our body functions run smoothly; wastes are removed when we sweat or go to the toilet, our body temperature is regulated, food is transformed into energy, nutrients and oxygen are transported to our muscles through the blood, our organs and joints are protected from stress and impacts such as running.
These are only a few of the many functions operating in our system by water. Too much sugar or fat would slow those processes and therefore we would experience physical discomforts that can affect the nervous system (lack of concentration and headaches), the digestive system (it is more difficult for the body to transform food into energy), and the musculoskeletal system (cramps and joint inflammation).
We’ve put together a list of 13 symptoms in summary that will hopefully inspire you to go and get hydrated!
Fatigue, Energy Loss:
Dehydration of the tissues causes enzymatic activity to slow down.
When chewed food enters the colon, it contains too much liquid to allow stools to form properly, and the wall of the colon reduces it. In chronic dehydration, the colon takes too much water to give to other parts of the body.
In chronic dehydration, the secretion of digestive juices are less.
High and Low Blood Pressure:
The body’s blood volume is not enough to completely fill the entire set of arteries, veins, and capillaries.
Gastritis, Stomach Ulcers:
To protect its mucous membranes from being destroyed by the acidic digestive fluid it produces, the stomach secretes a layer of mucus.
The mucous membranes of the respiratory region are slightly moist to protect the respiratory tract from substances that might be present in inhaled air.
Dehydration activates an enzymatic slowdown producing acidification.
Excess Weight and Obesity:
We may overeat because we crave foods rich in water. Thirst is often confused with hunger.
Your body needs enough moisture to sweat 20 to 24 ounces of water, the amount necessary to dilute toxins so they do not irritate the skin.
When dehydration causes too much liquid to be removed from inside the cells, the body tries to stop this loss by producing more cholesterol.
Cystitis, Urinary Infections:
If toxins contained in urine are insufficiently diluted, they attack the urinary mucous membranes.
Dehydration abnormally increases the concentration of toxins in the blood and cellular fluids, and the pains increase in proportion to the concentration of the toxins.
Water is an important beauty factor : it maintains skin’s firmness and health. As we age we lose water and therefore skin loses it’s flexibility and radiance.
So how much water should you be drinking?
We can get about 20% of the water we need through the food we eat. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; some foods, like watermelon, are nearly 100% water. Although the amount of water that we need each day varies, it’s usually between 2-3 litres.
If you really want to know the exact quantities for your body size, then do this simple calculation:
weight in kg x 0.033 = l water /day for example: 80 kg x 0.033 = 2.64l water / day
Hydrate before you caffeinate
Coffee is highly acidic which can irritate your gut especially if you drink it on an empty stomach.
Drink 500ml water first thing in the morning
Your body needs this water, as you’ve been asleep for 6-8 hours and are thus dehydrated – drinking water first thing, kick starts the body, avoid it and the rest of your day will suffer the consequences.
Getting consistent with this simple habit of starting your day with 500ml water (1/4 of your daily intake) first thing in the morning will have a profound impact on your life:
- Healthier cardiovascular system
- Your energy levels will rise
- You’ll improve your focus
- It will improve your alertness
- it will jump-start your metabolism
All in all, it will provide a solid foundation for a healthier, happier, more energised life