The average human body is made of 50-65% water and helps your body perform a variety of vital functions. This includes enabling blood flow, metabolizing food, flushing toxins from the body, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and protecting your organs.
Our body is constantly losing water when we sweat, urinate, and breathe. Dehydration is the harmful reduction in the amount of water in the body; your body loses more fluid than it takes in and can't carry out normal functions. Although easily preventable, dehydration is unfortunately all too common. It's up to you to be more proactive in keeping your body hydrated by listening to what it's telling you.
Age and Dehydration
In children, dehydration is most common after severe diarrhea and vomiting. On the other end of the spectrum, senior adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their body, so medical conditions and certain medications can quite quickly exacerbate this, increasing the risk of dehydration.
While these age groups should be especially cautious, all of us should still make an effort to drink enough water. All age groups are at risk for dehydration in hot weather, especially after vigorous exercise. Mild to moderate dehydration can easily be reversed by drinking fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.
How Do You Know If You're deHydrated?
The golden rule: Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. By the time you're thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
While everyone's water intake needs vary, a good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in pounds by two. The number you end with is how many ounces you should drink daily2!
For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need to drink 70 ounces of water every day. However, this number can fluctuate depending on your activities, the weather, and other factors such as medical history. If you need help finding your daily water intake, consult with your physician.
Some other symptoms of dehydration in adults include dizziness, extreme thirst, confusion, less frequent urination, dark urine, and fatigue. In children, some symptoms include no tears when crying, dry mouth or tongue, irritability, and no wet diapers for three hours.
What Are Some WAys To Stay Hydrated?
Simply having a water bottle on your desk may be the visual reminder you need to sneak in a few sips. There are also apps you can use to help track how much water you're drinking every day. Some of our favorites are My Water and Plant Nanny (if you want something a little more entertaining).
If you're not the water-drinking type, investing in good tasting water could be an effective way to start. If you don't enjoy how your water tastes, then building up this healthy habit will be difficult. Waiakea customers often describe the taste as "nothing" or "clean and crisp", so this could be a great starting point for those finicky drinkers out there!
You should also aim for naturally alkaline waters that are high in electrolytes. Studies show that these types of waters are faster and more effective at hydrating and replenishing your body.
Being diligent about your daily water consumption pays off in a lot of ways, including hydrated and glowing skin, improved brain function, increased energy, detoxification, speedy muscle recovery, and much more. Read more about the health benefits of alkaline water here.
Water is life, so drink up, 'Ohana!