Water, the most essential substance required to survive after oxygen. Our bodies are about 70 percent water. Water comprises 75% body weight in infants to 55% in elderly and is essential for cellular homeostasis and life. From our blood system carrying essential glucose, oxygen and nutrients to cells, to the kidneys getting rid of waste products we no longer want, fluid in the body is vital for these processes to work effectively. It also lubricates your joints and eyes, helps our digestive system function and keeps our skin healthy. Besides maintaining the health of the heart, brain, and muscles, fluids help transport nutrients to the cells while also flushing bacteria. However, it is easy to be dehydrated throughout the day and after various activities. Dehydration can not only occur by not drinking enough water but can also happen through excessive sweating, diarrhoea, vomiting or exercise. It is common to faint, experience cramps in the muscles and feel tired too. As we are designed to regulate water to maintain our body temperature, the fluids either get secreted or stay inside. i.e. in hot conditions, by losing more water through the skin (sweat), which in turn acts to cool the body. This excessive loss of water in sweltering conditions leads to dehydration resulting in the body feeling uneasy.
Advantages of staying hydrated:
Helps the Skin Age Better:
Drinking more water causes the skin to show fewer wrinkles and fine lines. Water helps the skin retain its moisture levels, thus increasing its elasticity. It also helps the skin to reduce puffiness and swelling, smoothing the skin out. Water can help you combat a variety of skin issues, including psoriasis and eczema. It does this by helping your digestive system flush out toxins from the body. This, in turn, will improve your complexion for healthy and glowing skin.
Flushes toxins out:
Water flushes toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are needed. Without water, the contents of your colon can dry out and get stuck, eventually causing constipation. Water is a natural lubricant that softens stool and promotes evacuation of the bowels. Water is also crucial to kidney systems. Our kidney system is unique in its filtering capabilities and totally dependent upon water for it to work. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood, eliminate toxic substances in the urine, and receive water-soluble toxins from the liver for processing. They filter voluminous amounts of blood each day and in doing so, maintain the body's water balance and excrete toxins and excess fluid through the bladder.
Studies have shown that dehydration lowers athletic performance, making you feel tired and sleepy. Not being limited to physical endurance, dehydration has also been linked to increased anger, depression and confusion in comparison to well-hydrated individuals.
Boosts Cognitive Functions:
Drinking water helps in boosting mental health and finishing a task. Research has also shown that drinking water enhances brain power. The brains of dehydrated adults show signs of increased neuronal activation when performing cognitively engaging tasks, indicating that their minds are working harder than usual to complete the task. The performance of dehydrated men also declined but to a lesser degree.
Promotes weight loss:
When we drink water before we eat, it decreases appetite thus letting us know when our stomachs are full. This leads to us eating less. As per research, drinking water before just one meal per day would cause you to ingest 27,000 fewer calories per year. Which is a lot of calories when you want to start losing weight. Drinking ice cold water helps to increase your metabolism because your body has to work harder to warm the water up, therefore burning more calories and helping you to lose weight. Plus, ice cold water is just so much more refreshing than water that's room temperature.
Research shows that dehydration is known to contribute to stress. Negative mood and anger are a part of dehydration. The research also shows that an increase in water intake has especially beneficial effects on sleep/wake moods of habitual low-volume drinkers. The switch toward a decrease in water intake has a detrimental impact on mood rating of regular high-volume drinkers, including reduced feelings of calmness, satisfaction and positive emotions.
Lowers the Risk of Cardiac Arrest:
According to a research paper, cardiac arrest is one of the most significant causes of deaths in both males and females. When the arteries in the heart become narrow and blocked due to the bad cholesterol and plaque, the risk of heart attack increases. Drinking water has been found to reduce the chances of cardiac arrests, but there is no definite proof as to how it happens.
How much water should you drink?
The actual amount of water a person needs depends on various factors like weather, clothes, physical activity and different other causes. People who tend to breathe heavily often are more thirsty and thus drink more water. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, may also require you to drink more water as a safety measure. People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat and also need to use caution to avoid dehydration. And some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid. Drinking about 8- ounce glasses of water which is equal to 2 litres in a day is the minimum. You should also note that excessive drinking of water causes a mineral imbalance in the body leading to various brain disorders. One of the easiest ways you can find whether you're dehydrated can be checked by the colour of the urine. If it is too yellow, then the chances that you are dehydrated is high, and if you have a pale-ish colour, then you have hydrated yourself well. Not sweating during intense activity or workout can be a red flag as this might indicate that you are dehydrated to the point where you can faint and also undergo faint exhaustion.