Hydration - How Essential Is Water Intake?
Water is essential for life, without which humans can survive only for days. Water comprises from 75% body weight and is essential for cellular homeostasis and life. It is necessary for all digestive, absorption, circulatory, and excretory functions as well as for assimilating water-soluble vitamins. Water also helps maintain correct body temperature.
Reasons for Water Depletion
For the scope of this article the general loss of water from the body should be considered as good old sweat. Of course there can be temporary health reasons such as vomiting or diarrhoea, similarly there could be longterm medical reasons diabetes, cystic fibrosis or medication.
Effects of Water Depletion on the Body
Studies have shown that a water loss equivalent to 1-3% of bodyweight can have severe negative effects on the body:
Thickening of blood
How Much Water the Body Needs
Health authorities Worldwide commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litres, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. Whilst there is no science behind these recommendations it is still widely adhered to.
A good test of dehydration is the colour of your urine. If it’s pale and clear it means you’re well hydrated. The darker it is, the more fluid you need to drink.
Another sign of dehydration is a lack of sweat during vigorous activity, when you expect to sweat. No sweating is a sign that you’re both dehydrated and probably suffering heat exhaustion.
A loss of fluid equal to two per cent of body mass (for example a 1.4 kg loss in a 70 kg person) is enough to cause a noticeable decrease in physical and mental performance. A loss of fluid equal to more than two per cent means you risk nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and other gastro-intestinal problems.
It’s not possible to train your body to handle dehydration, so don’t delay fluid replacement. When you need water, you need it.
Ways To Increase Water Intake
Whilst plain old water may be your best option, if you do require some flavour why not try one of the below, muddle and mix to 2 pints of water leave overnight.
Minty Cucumber Lime
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Strawberry-Lemon with Basil
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup cubed watermelon
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Pineapple-Orange with Ginger
1/2 cup cubed pineapple
1/2 orange, sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
If conducting physical activity it may be wise to avoid cordials and soft drinks that contain large amounts of sugar.
Phoenix Fitness 2 and 1L water bottles are available in a huge range of colours & finishes, are BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe and are fun and easy to use, whilst coming in 1 and 2L sizes helping you measure out your daily allowance.
Phoenix Fitness bottles are designed to help ensure you meet your daily hydration needs in a fun and renewable manner. By promoting the use of reusable water bottles, we help in some small way facilitate how we can all play a part in creating a sustainable future.