The human body is a wondrous machine that has numerous things happening within it at all times. It requires exercise to keep it in tip-top shop and food to fuel all of the moving parts and keep it working effectively. Another thing the body needs is to remain hydrated. In fact, hydration is a key element to the body’s survival, no matter the age.
The body carries food through the digestive process that includes different steps aimed at taking the nutrients it needs to function out of the foods that we eat. The body ushers water taking into it into a variety of areas as well. Water is used to maintain overall body temperature, for instance. Water is also used to remove waste from the body and lubricate the joints. Some of the side effects associated with not consuming enough water or being dehydrated include fatigue, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and headaches.
The body needs and craves water continuously because it loses water continuously. Breathing, sweating, and digestion are some of the ways that the body expels water, and if there is one thing that humans universally do at all times it is breathing.
Some of the signs that the body needs more water for adults include dark urine and few bathroom trips, dry mouth and bad breath, dry skin and lips, or just being thirsty. If checking an infant or toddler for dehydration, look for a diaper that has been dry for three hours or more, unusual sleepiness or drowsiness, crying with no tears, and even a high fever.
Now that we know why hydration is important and how to check for dehydration, let’s go over how to maintain hydration. There is an age-old rule that everyone should drink between six and eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day, but some people require more water than others. A new way to calculate how much water your body needs is to take your body weight, divide it in half, and drink that number in ounces of water each day. If you are still struggling with how much water is enough, just think about the way you feel. If you feel thirsty, drink water, and if your urine is a darker color drink some water. Use your instincts if you are in doubt.
Even though water is the best way to hydrate, there are many foods that contain high amounts of hydrating properties as well. Watermelon, lettuce, and tomatoes are examples of high water content foods that can aid in your hydration efforts.
From babies to the elderly, everyone needs water and to remain hydrated. Check for signs of dehydration in yourself and in your family and strive to continuously replenish the body with water and water-rich foods to keep it in working order.