Water regulates your body temperature, leaves your skin smooth and helps keep your joints lubricated.
Medical Advisor Mauricio Quintero – Internal Medicine Physician
Some common signs of dehydration include urinating less frequently than normal, having dry skin, being fatigued or dizzy, fainting or being thirsty. These signs should not be ignored as they are indicators that the body’s liquids need to be replaced to prevent an emergency, which may have been depleted for several reasons.
The fact that 70% of our body is water, is a clear enough indicator to show how important the regular consumption of liquids is in order for the body to function. The recommended daily amount is eight glasses. If it is hot outside, if you are exposed to the sun or do regular exercise, you are likely to need more water than eight glasses due to the fact that the body undergoes homeostasis (how the body regulates itself) for the activity it performs.
Mauricio Quintero, internal medicine physician and epidemiologist, explains the following benefits of being hydrated: it aids in kidney function (which help to eliminate waste through the urine), it brings oxygen to brain cells, it aids in digestion and in absorbing nutrients, maintains blood pressure within healthy limits, protects the joints, keeps you flexible, keeps your skin smooth and maintains its color, and regulates overall body temperature by dissipating its heat. With body temperature, Dr. Quintero explains that each person’s cooling system is different, “Thirst, for example, is the body’s mechanism for inducing a physiological response to drink something.” After evaluating the body’s osmolality (fluid level), the hypothalamus in the brain is what triggers this need.
The most common causes of dehydration in children are diarrhea and intense vomiting. In contrast, while the elderly may have more water in their bodies, they may have diseases or take medications that can increase their risk for dehydration.
It’s not just about water
In regard to drinks with added sugar such as soda or juice, Dr. Quintero suggests that in general, these beverages do not pose a problem. “It all depends on how much energy you use. If the person is sedentary and consumes a lot of sugar, this will affect their glycemic index and it will be stored in their body. In contrast, if the person does exercise, the body will use these calories and their reserves,” the doctor adds.
While water is the main source for hydrating the body, other beverages that contain water are also acceptable as long as they do not affect your metabolic equilibrium such as tea, soup, broth, juice or nonalcoholic beverages. Fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of water, which is also why it is important to increase their consumption.
LEARN ABOUT THIS VITAL LIQUID
The Natural Hydration Council, a not-for-profit organization based out of the United Kingdom, is dedicated to researching and spreading information about healthy hydration. It offers a few quick facts about water:
Water helps control our body temperature and transports waste from our main organs. Not having enough of this vital liquid in the body can cause headaches, constipation or a lack of concentration in children.
Water is found in all beverages and foods, even in foods such as cheese.
A person can survive about 50 days without eating solid food, but just a few days without drinking water.
- In order for children to enjoy this beverage more, try adding ice, pieces of fruit or using biodegradable straws in different shapes and colors.