When you were born, you were approximately 90% water. As you grew, the hydration level began to drop until it fell as low as roughly 65% in men and 52% in women … and yet if your hydration level dropped just another 5%, you would be dead.
Drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day of pure water, and you’ll be amazed at how well you will feel. But the emphasis is on water. It does not help to say “but I drink plenty of liquids
What can happen when you drink other liquids
When you take a coffee break, that ingested caffeine limits the secretion of vasopressin and keeps it from circulating. So even though you are getting plenty of water with the coffee, your cells are dehydrating. Alcohol has the same effect, which is why drinkers are thirsty in the morning after a bout of heavy drinking. And sodas are diuretic so they are no help in hydrating you either.
How can you tell if you are chronically dehydrated?
Are you thirsty with a dry mouth and a swelling tongue? Do any of the following apply to you as well?
- fatigue and general weakness
- dizziness and feeling faint
- inability to sweat and decreased tear production
- headache, confusion and poor brain function
- decreased and dark yellow urine output
Why do we need water?
Blood is mostly water and our muscles, lungs and brain all contain a lot of water. Our bodies need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to our organs. Water transports oxygen to our cells, removes waste and protects our joints and organs.
If you need to start hydration treatment
- Rest in a cool place out of direct sunlight with your feet propped up.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Drink water or other beverages designed to replenish the body’s supply of water, minerals etc.
- Juiced fresh vegetables and fruit contain the best kind of water.
- Keep drinking plenty of suitable fluids over the next few hours. Try to drink at least half a gallon.
- Moderate activity, and continue to drink plenty of fluids for at least a day, even if your symptoms disappear.
- Decrease or preferably give up the consumption of dehydrating products such as caffeinated drinks, particularly soft drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes.
And once your are hydrated, make sure you stay that way. It is not going to help if you go on a hydration binge every time you feel dehydrated. You have to keep with the 8 to 10 glasses of water each and every day. No turning back!
A healthy body should never be dehydrated in the first place
As an extra incentive to keep up the new good habit, here are some of the many benefitis:
- A sharper mind.. Just small deficiencies in body water can hurt memory and concentration. For a quick brain boost, head for the water fountain and not the coffee machine.
- Drinking water increases your energy levels by up to 30%.
- Look younger - those bags under the eyes are because of water retention. Your body knows you don't drink enough so it holds on to what it can. Up your hydration, end of bags!
- Lose weight - many dehydrated people mistake their thirst for hungar pangs so they end up eating too much. It is water their body is craving, not food.
- Water is great for boosting your immune system. And detoxing your whole system. The more hydrated your body, the stronger the immune system and the less toxins. You will be healthier all round.
When you feel thirsty, you are actually already dehydrated. Don't let yourself get into that state. Every time you move any body part, even a finger or toe, water is required. If there is not enough water to go round your organs, your skin is the first to suffer.
I always have a jug of water next to my bed at night most of which I will have drunk by the morning.
Hydration and aging
As you grow older, you need even more water. There is even some medical research in progress that points to Alzheimer’s disease as being the result of long-term dehydration of the brain. It might not be dementia, it might just be thirst.
While we are on the subject of water, please forgo the bottled water. You should by now be aware that it is usually no better than filtered tap water, it is hugely expensive to buy and extremely harsh on the environment. Time to stop helping the bottled water companies make those giant profits.
Bottled water should only be used if there is absolutely no alternative.