Every living thing needs water to survive and humans are no exception. You can only survive five to seven days without it because it regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, protects sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste.
Half your body is made up of water so it’s vital to keep hydrated. Without adequate hydration, your body will become dehydrated and your body’s natural functions will be affected.
Your body loses water every day just through its normal functioning. We lose water when we go to the bathroom, sweat, and breath. If you don’t replace the water you lose you can become dehydrated.
Some of the signs of dehydration include little or no urine, dry mouth, sleepiness, extreme thirst, headache, confusion and dizziness.
Chronic dehydration can lead to serious health conditions.Asthma, allergies, heartburn, migraines, constipation, obesity, high blood pressure, lower back pain, and Type 2 Diabetes can all be associated with dehydration.
How much fluid you should take a day depends on your age, gender, physical activity, weight, and the climate you live in, but it is recommended the average person should have around eight glasses of water per day.
Someone who exercises heavily, has a fever, or vomiting and or diarrhoea, needs to drink more water each day.
Water is always the healthiest option when it comes to staying hydrated. Soda drinks contain a significant amount of sugar and caffeine and will actually dehydrate you in the long run. Coffee and alcohol also have the opposite effect of hydration, as they are a diuretic.
Although water is life sustaining, just remember that everything should be taken in moderation. It is possible to have too much water. If you have too much, then your sodium levels can drop causing a state known as Hyponatraemia.
Hyponatraemia can cause brain cells to become swollen with water, leading to seizures, confusion, and even death.
The easiest way to determine whether you’re hydrated is by simply observing the colour of your urine. It should be a pale yellow – if it’s a darkish brown colour then your kidneys are working too hard to concentrate the urine.
If you or someone you know appears to be severely dehydrated visit your local AMS, hospital or doctors surgery.