When I was young there was an advertisement about an energy drink which was to be consumed in the summers. It literally had the animation of the sun with a straw and dehydrating kids who were playing in the sun and they used to get so exhausted that their bodies needed that drink to fill in some energy for themselves. Just so that mere advertisement doesn't get real, each one of us really need to keep ourselves hydrated in this rising temperature or we can be the prey of sunstroke, exhaustion, fatigue, headaches and also urinary tract infections, kidney stones etc.
When we talk about hydration the first thing that pops up in everyone's mind is water. Water is an essential component of food. The proper amount of water is also the key for sustaining and maintaining a healthy life. Water transports nutrients and metabolic products throughout the body to balance cell contents and requirements. Water maintains biological activities of proteins, nucleotides and carbohydrates, and participates in hydrolyses, condensation, and chemical reactions that are vital for life. On average, an adult consumes 2 to 3L of water: 1-2L as fluid, 1 L ingested with food and 0.3L from metabolism. Water is excreted via the kidney, skin, lung and anus.
Everyone of us has at least once consciously tried to increase our water intake but we all end up going to the bathroom more frequently or feeling waterlogged, so to avoid these problems there are some simple tips through which we can increase our water intake and even stay hydrated.
Make sure you drink enough, that is the recommendation of water may vary depending from person to person but there is a simple rule to follow which says 8x8 or 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day. We all should skip the throwaway bottles which would even help the environment, due to this bottles 20% of landfills are filled due to the plastic bottles and start using or really need to switch to the reusable water bottles by which we can also track down our intake of water and if we keep it handy we will be more likely to sip the water all day long.
The water can also be infused with flavors if one likes it that way, you can add limes, lemons, oranges, cucumbers or even mint leaves and can make it like a refreshing or spa-like beverage. These additions can also turn your water to a detox drink and it can help your body detoxify and scavenge all the toxic material out of your body. We all can relate to that late-afternoon snack hungry feeling. Before reaching for the nearest source of calories, drink some water. Sometimes our brain confuses thirst with hunger, so next time the feelings strike hydrate before eating and your hunger pains just might disappear.
Juices, milk and herbal teas can all help hydrate your body-even caffeinated drinks (in moderation) can provide you with much-needed water. However, water is what your body is really craving, so you might as well go straight to the source. Sticking with water will help you skip the unnecessary cigars, additives, and caffeine found in other drinks. The good news is that only 70-80% of your daily hydration needs to come from water; 20-30% should actually come from food! All whole fruits and vegetables contain some amount of water, but munch on these tops picks for maximum benefit; cucumbers, celery, watermelon, tomatoes, radishes, red yellow green bell peppers etc
If you don’t drink enough water, you may become dehydrated. This means your body doesn’t have enough fluid to operate properly. Your urine can be an indicator if you’re dehydrated. If it’s colorless or light yellow, you’re well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber color, you may be dehydrated. There are other signs that can signal you may be dehydrated. They include little or no urine, urine that is darker than usual, dry mouth, sleepiness or fatigue, extreme thirst, headache confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Some people are at higher risk of dehydration, including people who exercise at a high intensity for too long, have certain medical conditions, are sick, are pregnant or breastfeeding, are trying to lose weight, or aren’t able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration. It doesn’t send signals for thirst.
Water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you’re physically active, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid water loss. Be sure to actively drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.