Serious question: are you taking in enough water on a daily basis? Whether you are or not, it’s important to understand what proper hydration can do for the body and how being dehydrated can prevent your body from being in a healthy state.
Maintains core body temperature. Each one-percent loss in body weight due to dehydration triggers a dangerous internal temperature rise of a half-degree, says Douglas Casa, chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute. When you get hot, the water in your blood absorbs the heat from the core of your body and transports it to the surface of the skin through perspiration. The evaporation of sweat releases heat from your body, ensuring your body maintains a steady internal temperature.
Lubrication and protection. Did you know H20 also acts as a lubricant for your joints and your eyes? Remember those peepers are mostly comprised of water. Drinking those six to eight glasses a day is also essential to forming saliva, which aids in digestion. And here’s another reason to consume lots of water: The fluid around your major internal organs is comprised mostly of water, and protects your organs from injury. Put simply, water is indispensable to your body’s integrity.
Special considerations. The key to a healthy state is to ensure adequate hydration at all times. People also can be at increased risk of dehydration when intestinal illness strikes or during periods of high-intensity exercise. Other factors that can trigger dehydration include medications, such as those given to patients suffering from upper respiratory infections, and being physically active in high-heat conditions or in extremely dry climates. Sugary drinks will also lead to dehydration.
How much water is enough? Here’s a rule of thumb: Adult women should aim to consume at least nine eight-ounce cups of water on a daily basis. For adult men, they should drink at least 13 eight-ounce cups each day. Those who are very active, like athletes, will need more water to replenish lost fluids. This hydration calculator might provide some insight, too. One danger sign of an impending heat stroke is dry, hot skin or rapid breathing, confusion and muscle cramps. Don’t let it happen to you. Drink up, and here’s to your health!