Every function and cell in the body needs water to work properly. You need water to regulate your temperature, to give you a boost of energy, to keep the blood flowing properly, to help digestion move smoothly, and more.
Many people drink at least a few glasses of water every day, but now that’s times are changing and temperatures are rising, it’s important to be vigilant and informed, especially about dehydration. With that, here are a few things you need to know about hydration and dehydration—and the facts behind them.
Dehydration is Serious
While most people will only ever experience mild dehydration that includes light-headedness, headaches, and decreased sweat or urine output, it can take a turn for the worse and may require medical attention.
Just recently, one of the most publicised cases of dehydration involved NBA superstar LeBron James when he was still with the Miami Heat. James suffered severe dehydration and cramping during an NBA Finals game and as millions of viewers witnessed, it was painful.
Water is Fine During Exercise
If your exercise will take less than two hours, water will do just fine. You don’t need sports drinks to keep you hydrated, but it can help.
Regular tap water that passes through a filtration system using a specialised sediment filter will do. But if you’re really into flavoured water, it’s better to make your own using clean, filtered water and fresh fruits and ingredients from the supermarket.
8-10 Glasses per Day is not Enough
This rule of thumb regarding water intake is outdated. According to the Institute of Medicine, men need about three litres of water intake daily, while women need 2.2 litres. This all depends on numerous factors, including your current health and lifestyle. You don’t need to force yourself to drink if you’re not thirsty or if you don’t need to.
Take note also that those suggested intake levels cover fluids, and not just water alone. This means things like coffee, tea, and fruit juices are also part of the intake count.
Dehydration is a serious condition, but it’s also one of the easiest conditions to reverse. Having the right knowledge and attitude towards dehydration is a step towards better health.