Most importantly, hydration is key to survival and to keeping our bodies and skeletal structure in the best possible condition.
Whilst not healthy to live on a minimal amount of food, the human body can cope far longer without food than without water. The more challenging climatic conditions are, the more you need hydration in some form to prevent both your organs and cells from ceasing, with drastic consequences. Going without adequate hydration, the body will simply ‘give up’ within 7 days, and probably closer to 5 days, again depending on the climate in which you are depriving yourself of essential minerals that maintain our bodily strength. It would take a ‘superhuman’ being to exist without hydration.
Hydration can be achieved, not just by the intake of water or fluids, but also from vegetables and fruit, some of which have up to 97% composition of water – watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, courgettes, for instance, are all high in water content. Other fruits such as citrus fruits, apples and soft fruit such as berries, peaches etc., all have a part to play, but these are lower in water content even though they are still important hydration carriers. Finding yourself in the desert is quite unlikely for most of us, or indeed marooned on an uninhabited tropical island, but here items such as cactus or coconut water can contribute to saving the day with a high hydration factor.
Top 7 Reasons why hydration make our bodies healthy
There are several factors that make our bodies perform correctly, not least of which are:
- Virtually every organ, cell or tissue needs water to function correctly, including your brain
- Water is constantly lost through sweating, breathing and digestion
- Water regulates your body temperature, so is particularly important in hot conditions, even central heating! Equally so, if you engage in strenuous exercise regimes, or are an athlete, hydration is of huge importance
- Water forms a protection for your tissues, enabling them to stay soft and moist
- You need water to protect and lubricate your spine and joints
- Water is essential for bodily functions and to dispel toxins and waste from the body. Your kidneys and liver in particular depend on hydration as they work extremely hard to keep your body healthy
- Digestion – you need water in order to break down foodstuffs so that you can more easily absorb the nutrients found therein. It is particularly essential when digesting soluble fibre, which is essential in preventing illnesses such as constipation and will assist in regular bowel movement
Telltale Signs that you need to drink more water
Feeling thirsty is obviously a classic sign of dehydration, but this can also be caused by more sinister illnesses such as diabetes. If you regularly feel thirsty even if you are drinking fluids, you should consult your doctor.
Dry mouth and tongue – a sure sign of dehydration, so you need to rehydrate.
Dark-coloured urine – if your urine is anything other than a pale straw-like colour and particularly as dark as a deep orange, chances are that you are dehydrated and need to drink quickly. Don’t consume vast amounts all in one go, but regularly drink water every hour to rehydrate. You can refer to our ‘pee chart’ for more guidance. If you are also experiencing a slow down in urination, this could also be a sign for you to grab a Hydratem8 water bottle and drink up regularly.
Dizzy Spells – if you are feeling dizzy and also have some of the other symptoms listed, you could easily be dehydrated. Likewise, if you experience headaches, make sure you hydrate straight away.
Lethargy and tiredness – these can also be a sign of dehydration, particularly if experienced during the day when you are at work and should be enjoying peak performance time.
If you work in a dry and hot environment, you may also have very dry skin. This can be caused by other factors, but it is best to keep your fluid intake up, and this helps to lubricate the skin as well as other organs and cells.
The moral of the story is – just drink up and keep hydrated, your life depends on it. Take heed of climatic conditions or hot working environments and take in adequate fluids.