Water is considered a panacea for sustaining life as well as promoting health. You should drink at least eight glasses each day to replenish your body’s reserves and to prevent dehydration.
Avoid dehydration as it can lead to a series of health issues. These complications can make a person sick as toxins and pollutants collect in the body if they are not “flushed” out of the system.
Side Effects Associated With Mild to Moderate Dehydration
When water is not regularly consumed contaminants build up, which can cause illness or heath issues.
People may complain of such maladies as fatigue, digestive disturbances and headaches as well as pimples, dry skin or dry hair. However, these sorts of side effects are light when compared to dehydration that is more pronounced.
Severe Side Effects
While thirst, tiredness, dry mouth, dry skin, constipation or lightheadedness may make up moderate symptoms, severe dehydration is noted by symptomatology that is marked by such responses as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shriveled inelastic skin
- Dry mouth and mucous membranes
- Extreme irritability
- Low blood pressure
- Little or no urination
- Sunken eyes
- Rapid breathing
Check The Color Of The Urine
Thirst is not an accurate or reliable gauge if the body needs water. You can tell if you require more water by observing your urine’s color. While light-colored or clear urine means you are taking in enough water, urine that is dark yellow is a signal that you are not consuming enough H20. That said, keep in mind there are dietary supplements that can darken the color of urine.
If you are suffering mild to moderate hydration, increase your fluid intake by consuming Powerade or Gatorade besides water. These sports drinks contain electrolytes that can replenish what dehydration has taken away.
Immediate medical care is advised if you are suffering extreme thirst or feel dizzy or confused. If an older adult or child cannot keep fluids down, is disoriented, or has diarrhea, fever or vomiting, either go the nearest emergency room or dial 911.
A “Nutrient” That Cannot Be Ignored
Oral rehydration solutions should be given in the form of Pedialyte to ensure that dehydration does not become severe.
Both children and adults should drink plenty of water before and after exercise or consume sports drinks like Gatorade. Water is a “nutrient” that cannot be ignored when it comes to good health.
This is especially important when exercising because sweating removes water from our bodies and at this time, hydration is of utmost importance.
Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Water
In order to ensure you are getting enough water, also make it a practice to consume foods such as citrus, watermelon, tomatoes and cantaloupe. Vegetables that also help in the hydration process include celery, greens, and lettuce.
Foods That Lead To Dehydration
While vomiting and diarrhea are the main causes of dehydration in people suffering from the flu or other illness, certain everyday foods can lead to dehydration too.
Therefore, be on the alert if you are already mildly dehydrated for the following foods:
- French fries
- Cured meats
- Coffee (a natural diuretic)
- Soy Sauce
- Bouillon cubes
Any sugary drink can lead to dehydration too. So, even if you think you are replenishing your system with that sugary cola, you are probably doing more harm than good.
Balancing Out Your Electrolytes
While consuming a small amount of soy sauce will not cause you undue problems, consuming an excess quantity can result in an electrolyte imbalance known as hypernatremia.
In fact, replacing one’s electrolytes can improve any health problems that stem from dehydration. That’s why sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are recommended for anyone who is suffering from dehydration and needs to consume more water.
Stay Adequately Hydrated Throughout The Day
So, if you want to stay healthy and hydrated, make it a point to get enough water each day. You can’t count that daily Starbucks in the mix nor can you include that sugary pop you got out of the vending machine. H20 is still the best source for your hydration needs.
If you don’t’ want to consume plain water, choose a flavored water instead. You can add a flavored, sugar-free powder, such as Crystal Light, to iced water too. Juice, such as apple juice, cranapple juice or V8 are also healthy substitutes.
Vitamin water and various flavored water products have recently hit the market and are a good alternative for those who really cannot stand to drink plain water. However, keep in mind that some contain added sugar that no one needs, so check the labels. Vitamin Water Zero is a good option, as it contains all the healthy stuff without added sugars.
One Parting Note
Make sure you are obtaining all the water you need by keeping a container of H20 available at your side.