Have you felt a little tired and “out of it”? You’re probably dehydrated. Most people don’t realize that chronic dehydration is a common problem (about 75% of people in the United States are dealing with it), and it’s causing a lot of health issues. Here’s what you should know about drinking adequate water and how to tell if your body is already in a dehydrated state.
Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated for the health of the human body. But despite this knowledge, many people still walk around in a chronically dehydrated state without even realizing it. If you’re constantly wondering whether or not you’re drinking enough water, I have news for you: unless you’re paying very close attention to how much you drink each day, you’re probably not drinking enough.
Why Water Is Important for the Human Body
If you can remember what you were taught back in biology or health, you’ll recall that water makes up approximately 60% of your body. Certain organs contain even more water than that. Your lungs are composed of approximately 83% water and your heart and brain are composed of approximately 73% water. Additionally, practically every bodily function requires water to facilitate it.
Here are just a few of the things water does for your body on a daily basis:
Protects tissues and organs
Regulates body temperature
Carries oxygen to the cells
Moistens body tissues in the mouth, eyes and nose
Carries nutrients throughout the body
As you can see, water is so important that you should be thinking about it throughout the day and replenishing it as often as possible. Without adequate water, your body won’t be able to function efficiently and you’ll start to experience a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms.
Signs of Chronic Dehydration
Did you know an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? That’s a pretty crazy statistic, and it means that you’ve probably been chronically dehydrated at some point in your life (you may even be that way right now!)
Many people experience chronic dehydration symptoms regularly but have no idea why. Since symptoms of dehydration are highly varied, it’s common to think you have other health issues when you really just need to drink more water. Here are some of the most common indications of chronic dehydration.
Flaky, dry skin
Persistent muscle weakness
Dark-colored and/or foul-smelling urine
There are a lot of potential causes of chronic dehydration. If you work outdoors and you’re sweating constantly, you’re more likely to become dehydrated. Additionally, living in warm climates and having limited access to water are other potential causes of dehydration. Finally, many people experience chronic hydration because they simply don’t think about drinking water throughout the day or they don’t like the taste of it.
Why Water Is the Best Choice
When people feel thirsty or think they may be dehydrated, they don’t always reach for water. In fact, many people reach for sugary, caffeine-laden sodas and fruit drinks. But these types of drinks are not very effective at hydrating the body. In fact, caffeine is a known diuretic that can cause you to expel even more of your body’s water content.
The best choice when it comes to hydrating effectively is plain old water. Yes, it may be boring, but it’s what your body needs and craves. You can always make water more appealing by squeezing in lemon juice or adding slices of berries and fruits to it. The longer you stay away from sugary drinks and rely primarily on water to rehydrate your body, the more you’ll get used to it. Hey, you might even learn how to enjoy it!
To give your body access to the water it needs throughout the day, consider carrying around a water bottle with you. Refill it as needed throughout the day. You may also want to put a couple of water bottles in the refrigerator or freezer overnight so you can sip on them when you’re on the go. A little bit of preparation can help ensure your body gets the hydration it needs to function optimally and look and feel its best.