Dehydration (loss of water in large amounts) is a nasty bugger and frequently affects us whenever we neglect taking requisite amount of water needed by our bodies. Dehydration leads to listlessness, benumbed senses and an overall feeling of fatigue.
Hydration is a a crucial part of life itself and water losses of a mere 1 or 2% of our body weight can impair our functions - both mental and physical. Various studies have revealed that 7% loss in water content can disrupt our delicate internal balance and result in total body collapse.
It is difficult to believe that water is the most vital component of our body - and lack of it, leads not just to illness but even death.
On an average, an adult male needs at least 12 cups of fluids per day, whereas a woman needs 9 cups. People who exercise regularly or live on inhospitably hot environments should increase their intake. Ideally, 10 glasses of water daily will provide sufficient water for the body.
Keeping completely hydrated also means maintaining the body's electrolyte balance.
Yet, surprisingly more and more studies are suggesting that many of us are living in our own personal "hydration hells", thus putting ourselves in the danger of dehydration.
Here are some tips to avoid dehydration.
- One can easily analyse one's water content in the body by watching one's urine. dark, golden-coloured urine is a sure sign that one is low on fluids. Drink enough fluids, especially when exercising, to get almost clear urine.
- Making water a part of our life is all about developing good, healthy habits. Hydration is an ongoing process. We should not rely only on our thirst, for, by doing so, there is a possibility of getting only 50-75% of what we need.
- Fluid content also depends on body-weight. An individual of 150 lb weight who loses 3 lbs after a heavy sweat exercise will have lost 2% of body-weight - more than enough to adversely affect physical and cognitive function.
- Health researchers often suggest that we drink 1 to 2 cups of fluid, preferably water, at least 1 hour before exercise, and half a cup or more for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.
- Importance of water in our body can be gauged from the fact that in the human body, water constitutes 92% of the blood, 75% of the brain, 75% or the muscles, and 22% of the bones.
- Interestingly, nature abounds in water. Over 70% of the earth's surface is water (most of it is undrinkable salt water), which literally makes water one of the most common substances on earth. Yet many of us are unaware of its importance.
Due to massive urbanisation and increase in pollution, people are opting for safe drinking water. More and more people are turning to tap water in lieu of tap water. There has been immense growth in the demand for mineral water. Significantly, big companies have jumped into the fray in producing mineral water.
What people are not aware of is around 20-40% or this so-called mineral water is simply tap water collected in some fancy bottles and then sealed. That which is inside the bottle may not be more safe than public drinking water. In fact, mineral water is costlier and common people cannot afford to have it regularly.
What you can do is, after carefully filtering the tap water of floating impurities (using a thin clean cloth) and the like, boil it continuously and when it reaches to a boiling point, let it continue to boil for 10 more minutes. This is one of the easiest way of procuring pure drinking water. On the other hand you may also rely on water purifiers after weighing the pros and cons of each.
- What is of paramount interest is that we should take sufficient water to remain active agile and strong.
- There are no fast fixes for healthy hydration. Taking water in a routine way and in required amount will reduce the chances of dehydration which sometimes has fatal results.
- What is needed is to inculcate the habit of taking water. Specialists even suggest carrying a bottle of water always with you to provide a constant source of 'liquid inspiration'.
(Guest by A. J)
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