Fluid intake is one of the most important, modifiable factor that is essential to your body's function. Your body is about 2/3 water, that means you constantly need to replenish your water supply to maintain your healthy amount of water! Without adequate fluid intake, you can start to see the effects of dehydration almost immediately to the extent of not being about to maintain life after a few days without any water intake!
Dehydration is a term that means the state of something that is lacking water, or fluids.
You can intake water from foods (22% of water intake), like fruits and vegetables, or directly as a beverage. Keep in mind, if you do not consume fruits and vegetables daily, your intake of water from food will greatly decrease from this average.
Good sources of water in food: Fat-free milk, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, pickles, squash, yogurt, apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, pears, pineapple, bananas, avocados, cottage cheese
I recommend balancing your diet with 8-10 8 oz glasses of water per day and then receiving the rest of water intake from meals/diet.
Functions of water:
- Maintains the energy your body needs in order to function
- Lubrication of joints and eyes
- Eliminates toxins on the skin, keeping it healthy to maintain its function as a barrier in the immune system.
- Facilitates proper digestion and gastric emptying
- Maintains circulation, heart blood flow and blood pressure
- Supports your cells in regeneration and regrowth
- Helps release byproducts, toxins, and waste products from your body
- Promotes the function of the kidneys
- Regulates your bodies temperature control, through sweat production
- Enables physical performance, athletes are at risk for dehydration related to increased sweating
- Sustains blood volume which impacts stroke volume of the heart and cardiac output (blood pressure and heart rate)
- Influences cognition
- There is a BILLION other functions water has on your body, these are just a few main ones I can inform you of!
ways to incorporate water into you daily routine
- Drink a glass of water right when you wake up to start your metabolism and urinary system to eliminate toxins.
- Drink 2 glasses of water with each meal, drinking one during and one right after.
- Drink 1 glass before going to bed. I started doing this and have NOT experienced any nocturia (night time urination).
- Take a water bottle or 2 to work, class or even throw a couple in your car! You never know when you may need some.
Early Symptoms of dehydration
- Thirst - You start to feel thirsty when your body loses 1-2% of fluid.
- Dry, cracked lips
- Dry skin
- Sleepiness, tiredness, dizziness, confusion
- Dark colored, minimal urine
- Muscle cramps
Once your body feels the sense of dehydration, your posterior pituitary gland secrets Antidiuretic Hormone, which decreases the urine production by the kidneys, thus trying to maintain the concentration of water in the body.
Dehydration can be determined by the 'skin turgor' test. To determine skin turgor, grasp the skin on the back of the hand between two fingers so that it is tented up. Hold the skin for a few seconds, then release. Skin with normal turgor snaps rapidly back to its normal position. Skin with decreased turgor remains elevated and returns slowly to its normal position. A decreased/slow skin turgor shows dehydration.
Compared to water, it is shown that added sugar such as milk and juice actually decreases your energy intake. It is hard to determine the amount of water to individually intake since it is influenced by so many factors such as body mass, muscle mass, energy consumption, state of health, etc. But, it is shown that the best way to determine the amount of water to intake is based off of energy requirement.
Barry Popkin, Kristen D’Anci, and Irwin Rosenburg state here that studies suggest US adults averagely consume about 2100 ml of water per day, while for 19-30 year old females should be intaking 2700 ml, and males 19-30 at 3700 ml.
That means females should be drinking 11.5 8oz cups of water per day and men drinking 15.5 8oz cups of water per day! How many cups of water are you not intaking DAILY?!?!
You can look at this peer-reviewed article to read about hydration and chronic illnesses.
Barry Popkin, Kristen D’Anci, and Irwin Rosenburg state in their peer reviewed article, ”We need to know more about the extent that water intake might be important for disease prevention and health promotion.” This indicates a need to further investigation the effects of water, because so much is still unknown. But today I wanted to merely just talk about the effects of water that we know of today and would be most beneficial for you.