Beware of dehydration
Did you know that by the time you experience the sensation of thirst you are already dehydrated? That thirst you feel is your body calling for re-hydration. Is it just me or have the last couple of days been extremely hot? This is normal for the time of the year, which is why I decided to write this article. Being intentional about drinking more water during this time of year is very important. And not only that, it is also important to eat foods that our bodies can convert to water, every day.
When you spend time outside in hot weather, you probably start to feel thirsty in a fairly short time. That’s a normal response and one you should pay close attention to. It means your body needs more water to deal with the heat. Water makes up about two thirds of our body. Blood, muscles, brain matter, and bones are also composed of 83%, 75%, 74%, and 22% of water, respectively. Without water we would not be able to survive.
Did you know that every day our body loses water in carrying out its day-to-day processes, in chemical reactions, when we go to the bathroom (both urination and defecation), sweat, and each time we exhale? Water is the carrier of oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to the different body parts and it also provides a medium for the removal of toxins, dead cells, and waste material. The proteins and enzymes involved in various fundamental processes also require water for their proper functioning. When the weather is extremely hot our bodies lose water faster than it normally does. When we are exercising we lose water fast too.
Water is important for temperature regulation, lubricating your joints, protecting our spinal cord. The spinal disk core is made up of a large volume of water and when dehydration sets in, this can lead to back pain in many individuals.
Another issue with dehydration is constipation. This is something that only the sufferer can understand the plight. One of the main reasons for this condition is consuming less amount of water during the day. Water helps in keeping the lining of digestive tract wet and moist, which makes the system easier to process, digest and eliminate foods. The motility of intestine slows down in absence of enough water.
Your body functions best within a certain temperature range, and when you get too warm, it needs to cool off. There are a couple of ways your body cools down. First, your blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow to the skin. This allows excess heat to radiate away from your body. Then you also start to sweat. Evaporation of the sweat cools the skin, which in turn helps to cool the whole body. But there’s a problem. Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. You sweat more when the temperature’s hot, especially if you’re working or exercising in the heat. Drinking water helps replenish the fluids lost by excessive sweating. If you don’t get enough water, you may become dehydrated, and the combination of hot temperatures and dehydration can lead to serious heat-related illnesses.
Here are few ways you can stay hydrated;
It’s best to schedule regular beverage breaks and keep a water bottle handy so you can take frequent sips of water while you work or exercise. You could also choose electrolyte-replacing drinks for maximum water absorption. Drink water after you’ve finished a long walk or after an exercise session. You may also snack on fresh fruits and vegetables like berries, watermelon, oranges, cucumbers, grapefruit, broccoli.
How do you know if you’ve consumed enough water? One way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, it should be pale. Also, you’ll be urinating more frequently. Nutrients don’t only come in the form of food; water is the most important, and often most forgotten, nutrient. You can last for some time without food, but only days without water. So, drink up!
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