Water and Your Body: 8 Reasons Hydration is So Healthy for You

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Water and Your Body: 8 Reasons Hydration is So Healthy for You

Let’s begin with this critical question:Are you suffering from dehydration right now? If you’re like most people, you can’t answer this question easily. Fortunately, you can try this simple test to check whether you are dehydrated or not:

Smack your lips together and press your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Now, pay attention to your mouth and lips. If they feel dry, then your body is short of water or in other words dehydrated.

Your body constantly expends water while carrying out various physiological processes, such as perspiration, respiration, urination and excretion. You also constantly consume water either in its pure form or in other forms, such as fruits and vegetables. When your body uses up more water than it consumes, your body becomes dehydrated.

Although mild to moderate, dehydration is readily treatable, but in extreme cases, dehydration can cause severe medical complications, and even death. Understandably, identifying the symptoms of dehydration on time can save you from serious repercussions.

Know the Stealthy Symptoms of Dehydration

Surprisingly, thirst is not the most reliable indicator of dehydration, because you are likely to feel thirsty even if you’re not dehydrated. Instead, you can rely on the color of your urine to check if you are dehydrated. If your urine appears clear and transparent, then it means that you are sufficiently hydrated. However, if your urine looks concentrated and colored, it indicates low water levels in your body.

Energy levels are lowIn addition to your urine’s color, you can use the following symptoms to check if you are dehydrated.

  • Mouth feels dry and sticky
  • Energy levels are low
  • Feel sleepy and tired
  • Less active than usual
  • Urine output decreases
  • Skin feels dry
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

In case of severe dehydration, the above symptoms are greatly aggravated. You should see a doctor immediately if vomiting, diarrhea or fever accompany the above symptoms.

Drink Up: The Dangers of Dehydration

Dehydration, if not treated appropriately and immediately, can cause serious health problems, such as:

Heat Injuries: When you exercise vigorously you perspire heavily and this causes a lot of water loss. If the loss is not mitigated you may fall prey to heat injuries, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Cerebral Edema: Drinking water after being dehydrated could lead to cerebral edema because your brain cells may absorb water so quickly that they swell and rupture.

Seizures: Your brain communicates with various parts of your body by sending electrical impulses. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, carry these electrical impulses. Dehydration destroys the electrolytic balance in your body. This disturbance causes involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.

Hypovolemic Shock: A lack of water in your body causes your blood volume to decrease. This leads to a drop in your blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your body.

kidneysKidney Failure: Your kidneys remove excess fluids and waste from your blood. Dehydration damages the kidneys and in the long run your kidneys may fail.

Coma and Death: In severe cases of dehydration, the patient might die. It’s possible for humans to survive a few weeks without eating, but, humans can’t survive more than five days without water.

Heavenly Hydration: The Benefits of Drinking Water

Considering the severity of excessive water loss, you would certainly agree that prevention is better than cure. Remaining hydrated throughout the day not only protects you from dire medical consequences but also provides many health benefits. Let’s look at what these benefits are.

  1. Water: The Mother of All Nutrients

Surprisingly, your body contains more water than a kale smoothie does. You only look solid, but actually about 60 percent of your body is water. Your bodily fluids facilitate many functions, such as:

  • Digesting Food
  • Absorbing Nutrients
  • Circulating Blood
  • Creating Saliva
  • Transporting Nutrients
  • Maintaining Body Temperature

When your body is low on fluids, the brain sends thirst signals to your body. You should be aware of these signals and respond to them actively.Bear in mind, while quenching your thirst sip a glass of water and don’t gulp it. As you sip the water, your thirst will subside without your having to drink the entire class. This is the right way to hydrate yourself.

Dark-colored urine is also a sign that your body is dehydrated. In such cases, drink water even if you are not thirsty. Instead of water you can also drink fruit juice or milk. Under no circumstances must you quench your thirst with alcohol because alcohol is a diuretic that promotes water loss.

  1. Your Weight Loss Helper: Water Can Help Control Calories

Weight LossYour weight loss journey is a situation that calls for all hands on deck. Tiny habits that may not seem much on its own can stack up over a period of time to give you tremendous health benefits. Consciously keeping your body hydrated is one such habit.

The first reason why this habit help so much is that drinking water regularly keeps you away from drinking higher caloric beverages. Thus, your daily caloric intake decreases without your having to make any significant changes.

You can also eat fruits that contain large quantities of water to keep yourself hydrated. Such foods typically look larger and require more chewing. These foods are also absorbed by the body slowly. Due to these reasons, foods rich in water make you feel full without consuming more calories.

Therefore, use fruits, vegetables, beans and soups, along with pure water to keep yourself hydrated and keep the excess calories out of your diet.

  1. Water Helps Energize Your Muscles

Your muscle cells are largely made up of water. To help establish the importance of water and maintaining your cell structure, let’s do a simple visualization.

Imagine your muscle cells are like balloons filled with air. The air helps maintain the form of the balloon. Similarly, water keeps your cells well-formed. When the air is let out of the balloon it shrivels. When your body is dehydrated, your cells shrivel in a similar manner.

It’s important that the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the muscle cells is not disrupted. Otherwise, your muscles will not function well and your performance will suffer.

Whenever you exercise it’s important that you drink enough fluids. This will keep you hydrated and prevent muscle fatigue. The American College of sports medicine recommends that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid approximately two was before exercise. While exercising they recommend that you drink fluids early and at regular intervals to replace fluid loss by sweating.

  1. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good

Keep Skin Looking GoodYour skin is your body’s first line of defense against environmental assailants. In addition to performing this critical function, your skin is also responsible for preventing excess fluid loss. The cells that make up your skin contain plenty of water. Therefore, without water these skin cells will deform.

This deformity, at the molecular level, becomes apparent when your body is chronically dehydrated. The signs of chronic dehydration appeared as dry and wrinkled skin. However, with proper hydration you can improve the situation.

Although keeping your body hydrated will not prevent the onset of fine lines and wrinkles, it will definitely slow down the appearance of these signs of aging.You can also use a moisturizing lotion to lock the moisture into your skin. These lotions will form a protective layer over your skin and prevent your skin from losing too much water.

  1. Water Helps Your Kidneys Help You

The metabolic processes that occur in your body all the time generate waste products. Your body fluids play a critical role in transporting the waste products out of your cells. Blood urea is the main toxin your body produces. This toxic product is soluble in water. Thus, it can pass through your kidneys and exit your body in the form of urine.

But what happens when your body does not have enough fluids?

Without enough fluids, the kidneys find it difficult to filter the waste products. As a result, wastes can accumulate in your body. When your body does not have enough fluids the color, odor and concentration of your urine increases because your body scrounges for fluids.

If drinking inadequate quantities of water has been your habit for a long time, you may be at risk of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are agonizing, but you can avoid all that pain by adopting a systematic hydration plan.

  1. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function

ColonYour gastrointestinal tract is a long pipe that begins where food enters your body and ends where food leaves your body. Water helps move along the waste material through you intestine. Without enough water, these waste material form stools before they reach your rectal pouch. This premature stool formation causes bloating and constipation.

Water, along with fiber, adds bulk to the boluses that pass through your gut. As they pass, the gentle abrasive action helps keep the colon clean. A clean colon gives the following benefits:

  • Reduced risk of colon cancer.
  • Decreases constipation, bloating, and gas formation.
  • Lower risk of developing hemorrhoids.
  • Efficient absorption of nutrients.
  • Promotes a sense of well being in the abdominal region.

However, overloading your system with too much water is harmful. So, drink water based on symptoms of dehydration.

  1. Lower Your Stress with Water

All the organs in your body require water to function properly. When you’re dehydrated, your body is not at its best. Performing tasks in such suboptimal conditions leads to stress.

That is why sipping a glass of water is a healthful way to manage stress.

Dehydration also spikes the cortisol levels in your blood. Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases your blood pressure and enhances your brain’s ability to function well. This sounds like a helpful boost, but unfortunately, your body suppresses other vital systems to maintain the benefits.

Therefore, you must keep your cortisol levels and your stress in check by keeping yourself hydrated.

  1. Improve Your Muscle Tone With Water

bodybuildersModels with attractive toned bodies, as well as bodybuilders with imposing physiques, understand the importance of water in maintaining their muscle tone.Water does not provide energy like carbohydrates or fats do. However, water is the medium in which all the energy transformation reactions occur. Without adequate amounts of water, your body will not be unable to extract energy efficiently from the food you consume.

Water is a key component of the synovial fluid, which is a lubricating agent present between your joints. In the absence of the lubricating effect of the fluid your joints will lose their mobility and also begin to hurt. This drastically brings down your performance levels and ability to exercise and build your muscles.

Dehydration also needs to poor muscle control because the signals your brain conveys to your muscle cells are not received properly. Due to this maintaining form while exercising becomes difficult. This can lead to injuries.

Therefore, if you seek out toned physique then keeping your body hydrated is a must.

9 Ways to Keep Your Body Hydrated

The message is clear, when it comes to maintaining your health and vitality, water is as important as any other nutrient. If you’re not in the habit of systematically ensuring your adequate water level in your body, these strategies will help you build routines that integrate seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Stick to a Schedule: Assuming your meal times are well scheduled, drinking a glass of water as you eat your meals should pose no problems. But, this might not be enough. Thus, identify other regular habits that you can leverage to make sure you get enough water. For instance, drink a glass of water before and after a workout if you exercise regularly or drink a glass of water before and after your commute to your work place.

Take Your H20 to Go: Thirst can hit you anytime. Thus, it is important you carry a bottle of water when you travel. Carrying water with you is not only a healthy choice, but also a financially beneficial one. Buy a bottle that is ergonomically designed, convenient to drink from and easy to carry around. Also check whether the bottle stays tightly shut without causing leakage.

Add Some Fizz: If plain old water is dull and boring, you can make things interesting by drinking carbonated water. That said, make sure the water doesn’t contain sugar or other caloric content added to it. A word of caution, do not drink fizzy water when you exercise because the carbon dioxide in the drink brings down the oxygen level in your blood.

slice of limes or orangesTry a Flavor Boost: Add a slice of limes or oranges to water to make it flavorful and tasty. Alternatively, you can boil water with aromatic herbs, such as mint, to make water more palatable. However, do not use concentrates that have high amounts of sugar in it to flavor your water.

Start with Soup: Start your meals with a bowl of your favorite soup. The water in the soup will add to the fluid content in your diet and also help you feel full on smaller meals. Thus, this tasty addition to your meal will help you hydrate and lose weight.

Order Salad: Salad vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, are high in water content. Such vegetables are also low energy density food, so you will feel full without eating too many calories. Not only have that, these vegetable typically contained a lot of fiber, which helps your body absorb more water.

Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Intake: Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which are substances that promote water loss. Drinking too much coffee or alcohol causes you to urinate often, leading to dehydration. Alcohol has a stronger effect than caffeinated products do. Thus, while drinking, make sure your fluid losses from urinating are supplemented with water.

Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Sun: Staying indoors all the time is not a healthy practice. Thus, you need to step out into the sun. However, don’t do it when the sun is at its peak. Instead, go for a walk during evenings or mornings. If you have to step out, make sure you don’t stay exposed for too long. Take time to cool down under the shade or indoors intermittently.

Wear Appropriate Clothing: Put on clothes made of fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. Tight clothes don’t allow proper air circulation, leading to increased sweating. Also,wear season appropriate colors. For example, dark clothes during summers can increase sweating and causes dehydration.

The first thing scientists look for when scouting for life on other planets is the presence of water, and for good reason. This is a testament to the importance of water in supporting life. Conversely, a lack of water deters life.

Build your resolve to live a hydrated life one step at a time. You are now armed with multiple ways to manage water levels in your body. Put these methods into action one step at a time. You can make a fantastic start by sipping a glass of water right now.

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