Hydration-importance and consumption of fluids

Hydration-The science of hydration explained

The importance of hydration, especially water, is often underestimated. When thinking of a healthy or balanced diet, people usually refer to the number of meals one should eat per day, the type of food they should eat, what substitutes they could use, and so on.

You can also check if you are dehydrated by checking –The hydration urine chart

Having to bear so many things in mind, it becomes easy for one to forget about the water and proper hydration.

However, this is wrong – drinking enough fluids is essential when it comes to being healthy and maintain the activity of all body organs and muscles.

benefits of hydration

To start with, water is necessary for carrying all of the nutrients to the cells. Namely, even when one has a good intake of healthy foods, if they lack fluids, a big portion of the nutrients in those foods will remain unused.hydration urine chart

This is because water helps to keep the blood fluid, so that it can take all the necessary nutrients through the blood vessels, and ultimately, to the cells and organs. What is more, water is essential for flushing bacteria from the bladder.

In fact, a recent study showed that drinking more water can significantly reduce the risk of bladder infections, especially in women, who are generally more prone to them.

The reason behind this is simple: no matter how much one tries to avoid, bacteria manage to enter the bladder and often cause infections; however, through sufficient fluid intake, one cleans the bacteria out of the bladder, thus reducing the risks.

Cardiovascular health promotion

 

Your heart is a large muscle that pumps oxygen throughout your body. 

Dehydration is a common reason for overworking your heart.

This is when your body doesn’t have enough water to perform properly. Your blood volume drops, and your heart has to work harder to ensure that oxygen is available to the rest of your body.

 Overworked hearts are more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and other conditions. Drinking plenty of water daily will reduce your chances of developing heart problems.

Increased energy and brain function

 

Research shows that brain function is affected by how well hydrated we are. 

Mild dehydration can cause problems with mood, concentration, and memory.

It can also lead to fatigue, anxiety, memory loss, fatigue, insomnia, and brain performance in all ages. 

Water loss can occur from everyday activities. Many doctors recommend that you carry a water bottle with you everywhere and drink eight to twelve ounces of water each morning.

Correctly

functions of the joints and muscles

 

Are you familiar with the sensation of a charley horse or a painful muscle cramp? Dehydration can cause discomfort.

 Without enough fluid, your muscles and joints can become stiff. 

Orthopedic doctors recommend that all patients, particularly those who engage in intense exercise or sports, drink water throughout the day. 

Your muscles and joints will respond better to physical activity if you consume more water.

Maximize your physical performance

 

Your physical performance will be maximized if you stay hydrated.

 You can make your body work better if you drink enough fluids for normal or competitive activities. 

Your body will lose energy if you reduce your water intake. High-level athletes should have enough fluids and electrolytes to drink before and during intense exercise. 

Many athletes consume water as well as beverages such as Powerade and Gatorade.

Cleanses your body

Your body absorbs toxins every day from foods, drinks, and air. 

These toxins can cause physical imbalances that make your body feel tired and out of sorts. 

Water cleanses the body by helping organs such as your kidneys to filter out waste from your bloodstream and dispose of it. 

Your body releases more toxic substances the more water you drink. This makes you feel more energized and refreshes your body.

Treats ailments

Staying hydrated can also help with many other ailments. 

It is important to drink liquids even if you’re ill. Drinking enough fluids can speed up your recovery as your body works hard to fight any bacteria or viruses that may enter it. 

Hydration can help with headaches, kidney stones, and colds as well as seizures.

It keeps your blood pressure stable

A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.

It is essential for the airways

Dehydrated people have their airways narrowed by the body to reduce water loss. This can lead to asthma and other allergies.

It makes nutrients and minerals accessible

These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.

It protects the kidneys from damage

The kidneys regulate fluid levels in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.

Hydration for athletes and older people

Hydration for athletes and older people

Additionally, there are two groups of people that should pay extra attention to the amount of water they drink –

Older People And Athletes. When it comes to the latter, proper hydration is one of the key areas of nutrition that are important for athletes.

Due to the high levels of physical activity that athletes are involved in on daily basis and the amount of sweat they excrete, their bodies require even more fluids than people who do not participate in any sport.

Yet, it is important for their fluid intake to consist mainly of water and to avoid any unhealthy beverages, especially sports drinks. Although many believe in the efficacy of such beverages, there is a lack of scientific evidence for that and a considerable amount of evidence on their potential harmfulness.

The risks of dehydration

Regarding the elderly, it is known that they often do not get enough water and can easily become dehydrated.

Such conditions are commonly treated in hospitals but can still have severe consequences like “short or long-term alterations in physiological, cognitive and psychological status and ultimately, decreased quality of life.” The danger of dehydration is especially high during the summer period and when they are on medication that causes fluid loss.hydration urine chart

The first signs that indicate possible dehydration are weakness, dizziness, and darker urine.

Why is dehydration more common in older adults?

Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies’ mechanisms to prevent us from becoming dehydrated become less effective. 

Older adults are less likely to feel thirsty and have a reduced ability to concentrate urine.

There are other factors that can put older adults at high risk:

  • Chronic problems with urinary continence, which can make older adults reluctant to drink a lot of fluids
  • Memory problems can lead to older adults forgetting to ask for help or forgetting to drink.
  • Mobility issues can make it more difficult for seniors to get something to drink.
  • Because fluid access is often dependent on the availability of staff, it’s important to live in a nursing home
  • Swallowing difficulties

Acute illness, trauma, or any other event can cause dehydration. People can become dehydrated from things like vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or infection. hydration urine chart

Dehydration is more likely in hot weather.Last, but not least: Older adults are more likely than younger people to take diuretic medication, which can increase the risk of dehydration. These medications are often prescribed for high blood pressure and heart failure.

UK study of older adults in residential care found that 46% had impending or current dehydration, as diagnosed by blood tests.

Between 20 and 805, the body’s water content decreases by about 15% (6 L). Between the ages of 20 and 805, the body’s water content decreases by approximately 15% (6 L) 6.
As a result of ageing, kidneys lose their ability to concentrate urine and retain fluid during water deprivation. Additionally, older kidneys have a reduced ability to store or excrete sodium10.

Insufficient fluid intake can also be caused by limitations like decreased swallowing capacity, mobility problems, comprehension and communication disorders. Incontinence, a disease-related factor, can lead to increased water loss. Warm temperatures, insufficient staffing, and the use of diuretics or laxatives can all contribute to dehydration.

What is heat illness?

When your body becomes dehydrated, heat illness may occur. There are three stages to heat illness.

  1. Heat cramps
  2. heat exhaustion
  3. heatstroke

Heat cramps can cause pain in the back, stomach, arms and legs. Heat exhaustion symptoms are more severe. These symptoms include nausea, fainting, weak feelings, headaches, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and severe dizziness.hydration urine chart

Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness. Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It can cause high body temperatures (above 104°F), rapid heartbeat, flushed skin and fast breathing. If you have any symptoms of heatstroke, it is important to seek emergency medical attention right away. Heatstroke left untreated can cause death.

How to prevent heat illness and stay hydrated

Based on the latest scientific knowledge, these guidelines are prudent for maintaining body fluid balance, improving heat performance, and preventing heat-related illness.

  • A fluid replacement drink that contains carbohydrates can be a good option for long training sessions and intense training. A fluid replacement drink containing 6-8 percent carbohydrates is most effective at maintaining fluid balance and providing fuel for the muscles.hydration urine chart
  • It is important to have a small amount of sodium and electrolytes in the fluid you consume during exercise. It may help to absorb and replace sweat faster.
  • It should be tasty and palatable.
  • Athletes should consume 7-12 ounces of cold fluid 15-30 minutes prior to their workouts. You can add carbohydrates to your beverage at 6-8 percent concentration if the workout is extended.
  • During exercise, drink 4-8 ounces of cold fluid at intervals of 15-20 minutes.
  • Drinking water early is a good idea, as thirst doesn’t develop until you have lost 2 percent of your body weight. At that point, performance could be at risk.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, as they can cause GI distress. They also may reduce the amount of fluid consumed.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or energy drinks.

Don’t drink a sports drink if you haven’t tried it before. You can practice drinking fluids while training. You can use a trial-and-error approach to find the right fluids for you.

Daily recommended water intake

Daily recommended water intake

All in all, it is clear that proper hydration is not something that should be taken for granted.

Lack of water in the organism can lead to grave consequences, so the best – and easiest – thing to do is just to pay attention to the daily water intake.

Everyone should drink a certain amount of fluids with each meal or medicine, as well as on other occasions during the day in order to reach the recommended 30-50 ounces of fluid per day.

Gradual hydration is what will keep the kidneys to their best ability even when one grows older.

Hydration urine chart

urine hydration chart

This urine color chart will help you determined the level of fluids in your body. generally try to stay between level 1-3 range

Credit;Amazon

What about sports drinks?

 

Most people drink water to stay hydrated. 

A sports drink might be beneficial if you are exercising for more than an hour.

 Sports drinks are rich in potassium, calories, and other nutrients that can help you stay active for longer periods of time.

Be careful when choosing a sports drink. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. 

You should also check the serving size. 

A single bottle might contain multiple servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the nutrition facts label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. 

Caffeine can be found in some sports drinks. Be careful not to consume too much caffeine. 

Your body may experience a diuretic effect from caffeine. This could mean that you might need to urinate more frequently.

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