The Importance of Staying Hydrated
Drinking water is so essential for life that in everyday conversation, people use the word “hydrate” to describe the process of keeping your body well-supplied with fluids. Lack of hydration can lead to a variety of physical discomforts and health complications. However, mild dehydration is very common and upsets far more people than it should.
Our bodies are 60 to 65 percent water. Water is used by your cells to produce energy, transport nutrients, and remove waste.
When your body lack water, it tries to hold onto it by using it to maintain the body’s systems and functions. Sometimes, it will even take water from body cells to satisfy main functions like circulation.
Physical discomfort resulting from mild dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger. You might find that you feel hungry even though you haven’t had anything to eat. However, your hunger could be the body’s way of telling you that you need something more than food in order to feel well.
Dehydration actually damages your health and is responsible for a variety of health complications. It can even lead to premature death if untreated. One of the reasons it is such a serious problem is because dehydration is so common. Most people are unaware of the importance of water and how/how much they need everyday.
How To Recognize When you Need to Hydrate
I find that I am thirstiest in the afternoon. I’m not sure why (it could be my after lunch 4 p.m. slump) but I always seem to need water around that time. If you’ve been looking for a good time to break from your work space and drink a glass of water, maybe this is your sign.
You may also notice that when you get ill with a cold or flu, the first thing your body needs is water. It’s because your body needs to flush those germs out.
Your lips may also feel a little dry. In that case, try moisturizing them with something like vaseline (or lip balm).
Have you realized that dehydration is often the first thing that any early signs of sickness. You will need that juice of water to flush away any germs that might have gotten a chance to sneak in.
How Long does Water take to Hydrate You
The answer to this question depends on how much water we are talking about.
Obtaining enough water, staying properly hydrated and getting your body to absorb the water at the cellular level are the 3 main factors for your hydration.
First, we will look at the amount of water your body needs. Then, we will examine the two factors that determine whether this amount is effectively absorbed. Finally, we will look at how to make sure you are properly hydrated.
There are a handful of general recommendations on how much water your body needs. Most of these recommendations range from 8 ounces to 16 ounces a day. Some beverages are not included in that count, which makes things even more complicated. Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol are just a few of these other beverages. Some researchers say these count towards your daily intake, others say you need to add them to a rough daily estimate.
The Harvard School of Public Health has some recommendations for keeping your body properly hydrated. Here is an excerpt from their site…
Water is an essential part of any weight loss plan.
It’s also the easiest way to reduce cravings, especially for sugary and high-calorie drinks.
It’s healthy and its good for you and your body.
The amount of water you should drink daily will vary from person to person. As a general rule of thumb, drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink at least 75 oz. of water daily.
In order to ensure that you’re drinking a consistent amount, try to drink at least five drinks of water throughout the day, spread out between meals.
If you’re eating a snack, try to have a glass of water with it.
Avoid drinking liquids with a meal. Except for a glass of water with your meal.
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re properly hydrated is to keep a journal of how many drinks and the amount of water you have every hour. This will give you more control over your water intake and you can see if you’re drinking enough.
Last but not least: Make sure you aren’t drinking too much water.