If you were stranded in a desert, would you want something to eat or drink? That rumbling says eat but did you know that the human body can’t go more than a day or two at the most without water? (There have been stories of people surviving longer but those are not the norm). It is important to stay well hydrated.
Water is the most abundant fluid in the body. Over half of our body weight is represented by water. It is an understatement to say that water is vital to life.
So why do we need to stay hydrated? Water is used to keep our bodies going. Every system needs water to operate properly.
Do you exercise? When you do, your body perspires. That is water you are losing through your skin as well as some electrolytes. The body uses water as a cooling system. But, that water you lose needs to be put back so water isn’t stolen from other systems.
How about digestion? When you eat food, the body breaks it down into nutrients that are transported to the cells where it is used for repair, daily functioning and building new cells. It can’t do that without water to give volume to your blood to help carry these nutrients.
What about excretion? Whatever the body can’t use is excreted from the kidneys. Water is needed to transport these nutrients so they can then be filtered from the blood to form urine.
Without proper water volume your body becomes dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to dizziness. Your body doesn’t have enough water to keep its systems functioning. In extreme cases, body systems can begin to shut down. You will get sluggish also. Intravenous fluids may be used at this point to increase your blood volume and the amount of water in your system.
So, how do you get that water? The obvious way is by drinking water. Tap, mineral, purified, spring, flavored and carbonated are all ways that water comes to us. But what if you are not the kind that likes water? For some, water is hard to consume because they don’t particularly like the taste.
There are other sources of water. If you like tea or coffee you are also getting water in your system. Go easy on the sweeteners so that you don’t get empty calories mixed in with your water. Also try drink mix packets. They can be added to bottled water and are a substitute for soft drinks or sugary punch.
Consume water throughout the day to spread out your consumption. Before, during and after exercise, drink plenty of water to replenish what is lost. Electrolyte drinks will also replenish the salt that you lose.
When you are hungry, drink a glass of water. It partially fills your stomach so you eat less and sometimes those pains signify thirst and not hunger.
Got water? If not, get some now to keep that body hydrated.