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How To Stay Hydrated and Why Our body needs water?

Our body having 70 % water, balance in fluids is more important for its optimum functioning. Anatomical framework and physiological processes in our body is incomplete without water. When we lose more water, the water balance shifts to dryness, and we feel dehydrated. Causes of dehydration vary but ultimately we need to give more effort to make ourselves remain hydrated or to stay hydrated.

Why does body need water?

Each and every living cell, each and every fluid in our body comprises of water. Human physiology like temperature regulation, bowel movements, kidney functions, blood circulation depend upon water levels and can cause serious troubles when these systems get impaired. So, we need to know how to stay hydrated?

Water as we all know is the ‘universal solvent’. It has the inherent property to contain lots of ions within it. Since all the physiological activities are basically the interaction between various ions, water helps as a medium provider for these interaction.

Blood, the major distributory fluid present in our body comprises water as half of its volume. If blood lacked water, it would not have been able to distribute all essential nutrition and take away wastes from tissues. The hydrostatic pressure required for blood to reach out every corner of the body is also due to water.

Any living system is composed of anabolism (formation) and catabolism (breakdown). All the waste produced during these processes are to be excreted out of the body. The major excretion of such wastes happens through urine, which itself contains water.  Thus water also acts as the excretory medium.

How does dehydration occur?

The water we drink, water we obtain from foods that gives off water upon digestion gets absorbed from different parts of the intestine and transported to the blood circulation. Whereas we excrete water via urine, feces, sweat and perspiration. Dehydration arises when the rate of water excretion exceeds the rate of water absorption.

Dehydration is enhanced by environmental factors like hot climate, personal habits drinking less amount of water and health conditions like diarrhea.  Up to some limit when the rate of excretion of water is more than the rate of water absorption, the body tries to manage water loss through its own internal mechanism.

But as soon as the threshold is crossed individuals can experience the discomfort for themselves. Excess of thirst, feeling of weakness and dizziness may manifest as acute symptoms. Burning micturition, constipation, frequent muscle spasm and even weight loss can be seen as long term problems arising from excess loss of water.

Tips for How to Remain or Stay Hydrated

So how to stay hydrated? Here are some easy to remember tips.

  1. A healthy adult in order to balance the fluid level in the body should drink nearly 2 litres of water per day in normal day of a year.
  2. Carry a water bottle with you. Take a good refillable water bottle with color, design, and features according to your liking and take it whenever you go, be it at the gym, outing or shopping.
  3. Drink Juices more. If drinking solo water makes your tongue lazy, you can opt for some better tasting water, sugared drinks, lemonade, etc.
  4. Have Juicy Foods. Fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelons, cucumbers, will keep you stay hydrated sufficiently.
  5. Monitor your water level in body. A better way to do this is to check how often you urinate and see the color of urine. If you are urinating every hour or two, and the urine is light yellow colored, you’re properly stay hydrated. If you urinate less often and the urine is yellowish, you need hydration supplements.
  6. Coconut water. Coconut water is packed with electrolytes and are refreshing on hot days. Unlike plain water, coconut water has calories, too.
  7. Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic that means, it causes the kidneys to excrete more water causing dehydration in the body. Avoid drinking alcohol when you don’t have enough water available with you.
  8. Dress for the weather. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that lets your skin air conditioned. Dark colors absorb heat, so stick with lighter shades.
  9. Keep an eye out for any of these signs of dehydration in children or adults:
    1. Darker-than-usual urine
    2. Not urinating despite steadily drinking water
    3. Muscle cramps
    4. Bad breath
    5. Fatigue
    6. Fever or chills
    7. Craving sweets
    8. Dry mouth/skin
    9. Fast heartbeat
    10. Irritability
    11. Confusion
    12. Drowsiness
  10. Avoid drinking sugary beverages, and coffee in place of water. The former causes osmotic dehydration whereas coffee is a diuretic.
  11. know your body type or Dosha (vata, pitta or Kapha)  and create your own healthy hydration habit according to prakarti of your body.