Combating Dehydration In America: Joint Pain, Sore Muscles and More
Many people experience dehydration symptoms because they are not consumming hydrating liquids. We have heard over and over from health and nutrition experts that we need to be drinking a minimum of eight, 8 ounce glasses of water every day.
Unfortunately, 75% of North Americans are chronically dehydrated because of insufficient water consumption. Most of us tend to drink water when we get thirsty because this seems to be the proper indicator that it is time to drink. However, this not true. Thirst is a sign that you are becoming dehydrated.
The body is made up of 70% water and it is vital to nearly every body process. Body functions water is essential for are regulating body temperature, circulation, proper digestion, various chemical reactions, nutrient absorption, flexibility of blood vessels, waste elimination and moisturizing the skin.
Water makes up 70% of muscle and about 75% of the brain. It is not difficult to see why water is one of the most important nutrients in the body. A comparison between the bodies need for food to water is a good example of how important water is to our well being. A human being can live up to five weeks without food but no more than 5 days without water.
We lose about two cups of water a day just in breathing. Other ways we lose water is through sweating and urination. A good way to check whether you are experiencing dehydration is by urine color. If you are well hydrated, urine will be very pale yellow and almost clear. If it is dark in color(except due to poorly absorbed vitamin supplements passing through) then you know you need to increase your water intake.
Dehydration symptoms range from mild, to moderate, to severe. Mild symptoms include thirst, apathy, bloating, muscle cramping, lack of energy, constipation, dry mouth and nose, light headiness, thirst and slow urine production.
Moderate symptoms include low blood pressure, poor skin elasticity, fast and weak pulse, deep and rapid breathing and sunken, dry eyes with low tear production. Severe symptoms include convulsions, heart failure, lack of urine, low or undetectable blood pressure, kidney problems, fainting and severe muscle contractions in the arms, legs, stomach and back.
Causes and Conditions associated with dehydration
Dehydration is a condition that can occur at any age. Causes of this condition vary among the different age groups. Elderly people may become dehydrated because their kidneys don’t work well, they may have bladder issues and do not want to drink, or they may be on medications that increase urine output. Babies and small children can become dehydrated because caregivers do not know how much fluids they need.
Children have a high metabolic rate so they need more water. Their kidneys do not conserve water as well as adult kidneys. Many adults become dehydrated because either they are substituting water with dehydrating beverages or they just are not drinking enough water throughout the day. Health experts believe that dehydration is the root cause of a number of health conditions including inability to lose weight, faulty digestion, fatigue, sore joints and dry skin. To eliminate these conditions simply increase your water intake.
Many people are under the impression that water can be replaced with the beverage of their choice to provide the body with adequate hydration. Beverages that contain caffeine, sugar or alcohol can lead to increased fluid loss either because of an increased need for water for digestion or due to the diuretic effects of the beverage.
Some good ways to help increase water intake: eat foods that are filled with water such as celery, melons, and soups. Add fresh lemon or lime juice to improve taste of water. For every cup of coffee or tea you drink, drink an extra glass of water. Drink purified water because it tastes better and is better for you than tap water. Instead of drinking black tea, drink herbal teas.
Maintaining a good level of hydration helps the immune system fight infection and helps the body eliminate toxins. Dehydration leads to nutritional, pH and chemical imbalances which eventually lead to illness and premature aging. It’s important to develop a method of reminder to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day until it becomes a habit. Once the habit is developed drinking water will become automatic.