Why Does the Body Need Water?
We all know we need water to survive. Anyone who has spent a day in the hot sun knows how the body can crave a cool drink of water. Water is crucial to body function and is found in and between the cells and in the blood vessels.
Most people do not realize however how crucial water is to basic functions all over the body. Body weight consists of about 60% water (depending on the age of a person). Water permeates every single part of the body and has a number of different important functions. (1)
- It regulates body temperature.
- Keeps tissues in the body moist.
- Lubricates and acts as a cushion for joints.
- Helps excrete waste through urination, defecation, and perspiration.
- Keeps kidneys healthy and prevents kidney stones.
- Helps break down food so the body can absorb the nutrients.
- Keeps blood flow at a healthy amount.
- Carries nutrients, oxygen, and medications to the cells.
How Much Water Do I Need to Drink?
The average man needs 15.5 cups and a woman 11.5 cups of fluid intake a day. These fluids are consumed in the form of water, and the water content in other foods such as fruits or vegetables. Most people have heard they should drink 8 glasses of water a day which will keep the body full of the right amount of fluid. (2) This amount will keep most people from feeling dehydrated. Of course, the amount of water needed will vary based on the climate you live in, whether or not you are sick, what medications you are taking, and whether or not you are an athlete. If exercising, you should increase the amount to two or three cups of water per hour that you are active. (3)
Without enough water, the body will enter a state of dehydration where the body has used and expelled more water than it has taken in. Dehydration will manifest itself in different ways and can be deadly if not taken care of properly.
Dehydration in Adults
Dehydration is very common. Most dehydration symptoms are common and people often do not see them as dangerous. However, multiple symptoms can be a sign of a more serious case of dehydration which will need attention before it damages the body. Common symptoms are (4):
- Feeling thirst.
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded.
- Dry mouth.
- No frequent urination (urinating less than 4 times a day).
- Dark yellow urine.
- Dry eyes and lack of tears.
More serious cases of dehydration will have symptoms such as:
- Lack of sweating.
- Shriveled and dry skin.
- Sunken eyes.
- Low blood pressure.
- Increased heart rate.
The more common symptoms can be treated simply by taking in more fluids. However, more serious cases might need medical attention and IV fluids.
There are more concerns with elderly adults and dehydration. Elderly individuals are more at risk for becoming dehydrated because their thirst instinct has lessened, and they do not feel the desire to drink as much water as they did when younger. Many elderly people are on various medications which cause fluid loss. Elderly people often need to make sure they count the cups of water they intake every day to be completely sure they are intaking enough.
Dehydration in Children
While dehydration is dangerous in adults, it is even more so in children and infants whose bodies are still developing and reliant upon water to do so. In mild cases of dehydration, children will experience similar symptoms to that of adults. However if children experience:
- Fast breathing
- Little to no tears when crying
- Dry mouth
- Have not urinated in 12 hours
- Cold and blotchy extremities
- A soft sunken in spot on the top of the head (in infants),
A guardian should contact a medical professional immediately. The child will most likely need medical help to recover safely and without long-term damage to their bodies. (5)
Best Treatments for Dehydration
Most people assume drinking water will end dehydration. This is often the best way to help with dehydration, but there are other ways to lessen symptoms and restore the body to its optimum state of health. (6, 7) The best ways to deal with dehydration are:
- Drink more water immediately.
- Consume foods with high water content such as melons, vegetables, and soups.
- Drink skim and low fat milk.
- Consume drinks specifically made for recovery. They will contain electrolytes, sugars, potassium, prebiotics, and or zinc. Some common forms are sports drinks like Gatorade.
- When an infant becomes dehydrated, the guardian should make sure they have plenty of breastmilk or formula.
If you are a person more susceptible to dehydration, you need to make sure you are drinking more water than the average person. Those with diabetes, those who have been in the sun, those who have drunk large amounts of alcohol, exercise excessively, or taken diuretic medicines are at risk.
To help your body even further, drink hydrogen water produced from a Synergy Science™ water machine. The added hydrogen in the water will keep you hydrated and at the same time reduce inflammation in the body.
The Bottom Line
The human body needs water. Nothing can take its place. Drinking the appropriate amounts of water everyday will keep the body healthy and the body systems functioning as they should. If a person experiences mild cases of dehydration, they should take in fluids and fix the issue. However, if a person or child experiences the more severe symptoms, they should get medical help immediately and in the future increase their daily water intake.