• Consumer
  • 21 May, 2024

Hydration: Why it’s so important?

Water comprises 70% of the human’s body weight and is a crucial component in digesting food, the functioning of the brain, the maintaining of healthy skin and joints and the production of bodily fluids to remove waste. Thus, our body needs water more than it needs food and sleep.

 

Hydration is the replacement of bodily fluids which are lost during exhaling, sweating and elimination. Further to promoting good health, proper hydration also prevents the development of urinary tract infections, kidney stones and constipation.

 

How important is hydration?

 

There are several factors which impact the hydration levels in the human body. These include exercise, alcohol and illness which may lead to dehydration. Dehydration occurs when we lose more body fluids and electrolytes than we are taking in. The first clear sign of dehydration is a dark and strong smelling urine. However, other symptoms may include:

  • pain when urinating;
  • dry mouth and lips;
  • headaches;
  • feeling lightheaded.

 

How much fluid intake is required?

 

It is recommended to drink at least 2 litres of fluids daily, however needs vary with age, gender and level of physical activity. Fluid intake is very important:

  • when you wake up;
  • prior to each meal;
  • before, during and after exercise;
  • one hour before sleeping.

 

Six Tips for Increasing Your Fluid Intake

 

  1. Drink consistently throughout the whole day
  2. Add flavour – dilute water with sugar free or low sugar drinks.
  3. Refrigerate your drink – fluids are absorbed more easily when they are somewhat cooler!
  4. Monitor the colour of your urine, as this will help you understand your level of hydration.
  5. Carry a bottle with you and drink regularly between meals.
  6. Drink before you actually get thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body is already dehydrated!

 

Stay healthy and properly hydrate!

 

Sources:

  • Hall Health Center-UW Medicine, Fine Living Essentials, McKinley Health Center

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (https://cdhf.ca/health-lifestyle/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated-general-hydration-and-virus-recovery/)

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