As a general rule the human body can only last for 2-3 days without water. So many functions in our body rely on hydration. Many things can go wrong the more dehydrated we become. As you can see below water is needed in all aspects of life.
Hydration/dehydration directly affects these body functions:
Regulation of body temperature
Body’s PH balance
Lubricating joints and vertebrae
Brain function, the brain is 80% water.
Removal of toxins/waste
Blood circulation and volume
One common misconception is that you don’t have to hydrate if you aren’t exercising. Even one that is not active loses water from their body through breathing, urinating and even just sitting and reading a book. When you’re not exercising, instead of the blood being drawn to the muscles there will be more blood near the surface of the skin creating the opportunity for the moisture to escape through the skin.
Some say, “Just wait until you get thirsty”. By the time you get thirsty you have already lost 1-2% of your body’s water, started to lose blood volume making the heart pump harder, the osmolarity of your blood has changed because you have lost more water than sodium which signals the hypothalamus to trigger thirst. Even mild dehydration can affect concentration, alertness and short-term memory! Don’t wait, maintain!
A good indication of dehydration is your urine color. Dark urine is indication you are dehydrated!! Certain foods, pharmaceuticals or vitamins high in Riboflavin B2 (Like Mountain Rescue Nutrients) can cause your pee to change color. Go here to understand more about the color.
How do you hydrate properly?
As an easy way to make sure you are hydrated I refer to Dr. Brownstein’s suggestion to take your body weight, divide by 2 and that equals the total number of ounces of water you should drink daily. So I am 180 lbs. that means I should drink 90 ounces of water a day. Make sure not to go overboard, you can drink too much water and deplete important minerals needed.
What should you drink?
Plain water is best. If you want some flavor add juice from organic raw fruit. Orange, lemon, lime, mango, pomegranate are some good suggestions. You can also carbonate to give a little sparkle to the water. I use “Sodastream” to carbonate my “ClearlyFiltered” water then add a squeeze of juice. There is some thought that carbonated water can harm your tooth enamel. When water is carbonated the combination creates carbonic acid, which is a weak acid. The harm to your teeth is minimal. It’s when you add sugar to a carbonated drink, as in a soft drink, that harm is caused. Sugar is another discussion for another day.
As you see, in this short piece, hydration is so important to staying healthy. Getting in the habit of keeping yourself hydrated will be well worth the effort. Keeping a water bottle with you during the day helps to remind you and will move you closer to your goal. As you get older it’s even more important as you may feel the effects of dehydration a great deal more.
Enjoy the summer hydrated!!
Founder/ Managing Partner, Mountain Rescue Nutrients
Certified Nutrition Coach
Immune System Researcher
Krista Scott-Dixon PhD; John Berardi, PhD, CSCS; Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS; Helen Kollias, PhD, CSCS; Camille DePutter. (2019) The Essentials of Nutrition and Coaching, Unit 2, 4th Edition
David Brownstein, MD, (2022) Natural Way To Health, Vol. 15, Issue 3
Cian, C., Koulmann, N., Barraud, P. A., Raphel, C., Jimenez, C., & Melin, B. (2000). Influences of variations in body hydration on cognitive function: Effect of hyperhydration, heat stress, and exercise-induced dehydration. Journal of Psychophysiology, 14(1), 29–36. https://doi.org/10.1027/0269-8803.14.1.29
Ritz P, Berrut G. (2005) The Importance of Good Hydration for Day-to-Day Health. Nutrition Reviews, Volume 63, Issue suppl_1, June 2005, Pages S6–S13, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00155.x
Franziska Spritzler (2019) Carbonated Water Good or Bad https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/carbonated-water-good-or-bad
Popkin B, D’Anci K, Rosenberg I. (2010) Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439-458. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/68/8/439/1841926