Hydration is a major buzzword these days - we probably hear the phrase "drink more water" at least a dozen times a week whether it's coming from morning talk shows, your favorite influencer sporting her new water bottle or even your own doctor. So, what's the big deal? Why are we always being encouraged to stay hydrated? Well, the fact is that water or H2O is completely essential to life. It is a crucial component of our cells, making up 60% of the adult human body. Your brain, heart, skin, and kidneys are all made mostly of water; therefore, when you don't drink enough water, dehydration occurs. We're here to give you all the facts you need to know about staying hydrated!
Why is Hydration so Important?
Your body needs to stay hydrated for many reasons. Water regulates your body temperature. It does this by releasing heat from the body when it's hot and storing heat in the body when it is cold. Your internal organs also work more efficiently when you are hydrated.
Water also acts as a lubricant for your joints and tissues, reducing the friction that can cause pain or damage, while also helping eliminate waste from the kidneys, bladder, and skin. Other benefits include better bowel, digestion, and brain function, along with increased energy levels.
What Are The Signs of Dehydration?
Not everyone experiences the same signs and symptoms when they become dehydrated. Aside from thirst, some common signs and symptoms include:
- Dry mouth
- Cramps in the arms, legs, stomach, or abdomen
- Low blood pressure upon standing
- Muscle aches
Other Symptoms That May Occur with Severe Dehydration:
- Blood pressure that falls when standing
- Hallucinations and seizures (in extreme cases)
If you're severely dehydrated, seek immediate medical attention.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough water, losing too much water from exercise or spending time in hot temperatures without proper hydration, or losing too much water because of diarrhea or vomiting. The body can't store water, so any fluid the body doesn't use is excreted. That means you need to keep drinking water regularly throughout the day.
Drinking too much alcohol can also cause dehydration. Alcohol suppresses the secretion of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), which stimulates water reabsorption in the kidneys. When ADH production is lower, you'll have greater difficulty maintaining your H2O balance. You may also urinate less frequently when you drink alcohol because it dulls the nervous system's senses that control urination.
What is Proper Hydration?
You should drink water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Some recommend drinking about 12 to 15 cups of water per day, but you can also use your body weight or how often you urinate as a guide for whether you're properly hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow, start taking measures to remedy your dehydration.
Also, limit caffeine. Caffeinated beverages act as mild diuretics, meaning they encourage water excretion. If you must drink a few cups of coffee or have a soda, add the equivalent in H2O to balance it out. For example, drink an extra 8 ounces of water for every cup of coffee.
How Can I Rehydrate Properly?
If you notice yourself becoming dehydrated, hydrate. Try sipping small amounts of fluids frequently rather than drinking a lot at once. Continue with small sips until your urine is an appealing, light straw color. To hydrate quickly and effectively, sip water at a rate of four ounces every 15 minutes.
If you're sick with diarrhea or vomiting, it is a sign that you need to replace lost electrolytes and replenish potassium and other necessary minerals. One way to do this is by incorporating a sports drink or electrolyte powder. Our Betr Remedies Electrolyte powder packets are perfect for when you need to rehydrate because they have fewer calories than sports drinks and more electrolytes, such as potassium. They are also portable, convenient, and easy-to-carry to carry with you to keep you hydrated all day long.
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