One of the essentials for our body to function is water. It has many benefits, more than you can think of.
Having the ideal properties, water maintains proper health and leads to a fit body.
If you’re already a fit and healthy person, it won’t stop you from knowing the secrets of water.
Or conversely, from getting the answers to the questions you’ve ever thought about it.
However, if you are dehydrated, you may suffer a variable number of consequences depending on the dehydration level. Luckily, you can be cured easily, having a mild one.
If you go through severe dehydration, you are exposed to unconsciousness, organ failure, and even death.
- 1 Why Is It Important to Drink Water?
- 2 Dehydration
- 3 What Foods Dehydrate You?
- 4 How to Get Rehydrated?
- 5 How many ounces of water should you drink?
- 6 What is The Healthiest Drinking Water?
- 7 What drinks keep you hydrated?
- 8 Conclusion
Why Is It Important to Drink Water?
Water makes up most of the body. We wouldn’t function correctly without it and allow dryness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and much more to take over.
Besides, it benefits our body in many unimaginable ways, like temperature control, waste removal, internal lubrication, nutrient absorption, and many more.
Here are some neglected yet important health concerns:
Mind at work
The common man at work every day needs to keep a good focus, alertness, and safety from injuries which he can by keeping on drinking water.
For staying hydrated at work, you must already have planned your drinking times, maybe even outrun your thirst reminder.
Bottle or glass during work, and fruits and vegetables on your breaks.
Perhaps you are convinced by now that junk and processed are bad; if not, know that they can dehydrate you, with salt and caffeine as responsible.
You can also think of infusing water-rich food in water to minimize the boredom of blandness.
Is drinking water healthy for weight loss? It is so, as it contributes to resting energy expenditure – increasing the number of calories burnt.
It is shown to increase by up to 30% within 10mins of hydration to last in 1 hour.
If drinking a lot of water to lose weight is your case, know that half a liter of 17 oz. of water can give up to a 30% temporary boost to your metabolism.
The same volume, taken half an hour before meals, has proven to reduce dieters’ weight through less eating by 44% in a span of 12 weeks.
As per researchers, a 2L intake of water can increase your daily energy spent by 96 calories.
And if taken cold, it benefits by lowering the body temperature as you burn more calories.
When you drink water, you are picking a low calorie intake. This may cut down long-term weight gain, either with 1 extra cup of water daily, or by replacing other drinks with water.
If taken from from a very young age regularly, water can keep them from obesity and related diseases.
In a nutshell, each of the spinal discs houses a water-based core protected by a gelatinous ring. Any activity moving the spine compresses each core, resulting in water squirted out.
Such dehydration engenders pain, lack of mobility, and spinal injury in severe cases.
Do ensure you have adequate rehydration because the spine is the last in line.
As your vital organs come prior, a compromised spine can leave you with back pain, and, later, with immobility or constrained movements.
Think of the fluid too that circulates in the brain for its good function, thanks to hydration.
You need effective hydration to decompress the discs, thus being free from aging and inactive lifestyle troubles.
An article suggests that with at least a 30 oz daily, proper hydration spine health can recover.
Normal body motion can also take up again at rest, as the most important rehydration occurs during sleep.
You can also consider chiropractic care to adjust your spine as per proper hydration and allow your discs to refill.
Bone cells are in constant reproduction, and the nearly one-third water structure is fortified with an internal mineral stock.
With a good water intake, you encourage the absorption of nutrients, especially calcium and vitamin D, for your bones to rebuild and strengthen.
In contrast, lack of water will not only lead to bone loss, or worse, osteoporosis but also allow for a buildup of toxins in the bones for a resulting inflammation and collapse bone mass.
It’s through severe dehydration bone health is likely to worsen, so drink plenty of water to avoid future diseases.
As hair is made of proteins, it does not only work with but also grow with water. Should you look for longer hair, about 2-3L of daily water intake is recommended.
Hair growth is similar to plant growth, whereby water is required to carry essential vitamins to your hair.
Weighing the quarter of each strand, internal water helps to make your hair stronger each day.
Surprisingly, dehydration puts a stop in no time. Without the necessary soft waters as moisture, your hair will show brittle or split ends.
With an insufficient water intake, hair growth may be hindered or even stall.
Drinking water and healthy scalp too are two ends of a haircare process. When drinking water for healthy hair growth, your scalp and hair are revitalized.
Also, you can get rid of dandruff too. You can accompany your drinking water with vitamins for your hair, like those contained in coconut water.
And no matter how much you wash and shampoo your hair, it also needs about equal hydration from within.
As the largest organ of your body, your skin functions best with adequate water.
Otherwise, it can turn dry, tight, and flaky, till it withers in premature aging. A well-hydrated skin benefits widely as you:
- have less wrinkles
- enhance your complexion
- reduce skin puffiness (swelling)
- get to heal faster
- can clear acne
- will age more slowly
- shrink your pores
- can alleviate itchiness
- can tighten your skin
- balance your skin pH
If you are drinking enough water daily, you might not eventually need most of your regular beauty treatments and products.
Do give your skin exactly what it needs as it is the most visible sign of health defects.
Water, to balance the amount of water into the body, exits it in the form of sweat, urine, and feces.
If more water leaves your body, then you are dehydrated. It may be because you are not drinking enough or losing too much water.
As a crosscheck at any moment, how to know if you are hydrated? For that, you must assure you are not experiencing issues like:
As the first indicator of dehydration, it reminds you to drink water automatically on the slightest change in fluid balance.
With old age, however, it tends to decline like other senses, whereby it is then up to one’s awareness to control the fluid intake.
- Urine variations
You might have noticed the color or amount changes in urine out after scarce hydration.
The responsible organ is your kidney, which holds water as much as it requires, subsequently altering urine concentration.
The result can vary, suggesting your dehydration level:
- clear, pale yellow, odorless, constant excessive urine for proper hydration;
- honey yellow, enough and occasional urine for mild dehydration;
- deep, amber yellow, pungent, deficient to hardly any urine for severe dehydration.
Whether you exercise or not, sleep opportunely or not, you cannot stop timely fatigue or sleepiness definitely.
You’ll preferably pick a cup of coffee to overcome them, but a proper refill of water can turn out to be enough.
In addition, you can assure a lucid mind with increased alertness, besides better endurance for workouts.
While the duration and level of dehydration increas, there’s worse to expect – headache and migraines.
Those might differ in causes and individuals, but in the end, drinking water can help resolve these issues, as long as they are due to dehydration.
- Changing skin elasticity
Your skin, loaded with 30% water, stays full and elastic. Once pinched, it should snap back instantly to its initial shape.
With much less water, you can find yourself with an unpleasantly dry, cool, and/or humid skin. Therefore, proper hydration is essential to restore skin turgor (elasticity).
You can get muscle cramps, particularly when you are sweating excessively after some strenuous exercise.
Since aqueous sodium is an electrolyte that regulates muscle contractions, its depletion by much sweating results in your muscles contracting involuntarily.
That is why you need enough hydration for a straining or hot exercise.
- Lower blood pressure
When you are dehydrated, your blood lowers in volume, and so does the pressure inside arteries.
With less internal fluid, getting on your feet from a rested position will make your heart pump harder to get blood up to your brain in a matter of seconds until you don’t feel dizzy anymore.
You may feel weak and tired with a lower BP, but you can get back up by drinking some water.
If your BP becomes considerably low through severe dehydration, you may get blurred vision, nausea, or a loss of consciousness and need to seek urgent treatment.
- Quicker Heart Rate
As said, the heart overworks at a higher rate to deliver the required volume of blood to organ vessels despite the lack of body fluid.
This explains palpitations where you feel your heart racing or even pounding very hard.
The higher heart rate can compensate for the low blood volume during dehydration, as long as the latter is not yet severe.
Remember that rapid heart rate depends on other conditions, too, besides dehydration. If drinking water does not help decrease it, take medical help.
Brain function too can be negatively affected by dehydration, whereby you’ll notice uncontrolled changes with your emotions.
It has been found that a small loss in body fluids led to anxiety, irritability, moodiness, concentration difficulty and retrograding memory.
With bigger losses, you can expect confusion and delirium, which is also the case of older adults who can’t count on their thirst to rehydrate.
So, make sure to drink plenty of water to maintain mental clarity and a good brain function, whether you are a child or adult.
- Serious Complications
While a short loss of body fluids can be compensated with a higher heart rate, a bigger one will irreversibly lead to an eventual shutdown, in other words, shock.
This fatal condition comprises the lack of blood supply and oxygen to the organs and can bring you blackouts, brain damage, kidney failure, or heart attack.
Delay in its treatment will result in death.
Although it’s a rare consequence of dehydration, you can be at risk through trauma, severe burns, continuous vomiting, or diarrhea.
Watch out for these causes to avoid dehydration:
- Intense Exercise
This is where you are likely to sweat often to lose your fluids. So it requires regular drinking if you do not want to become easily dehydrated.
- Hot Surroundings
Another situation causing you to sweat but effortlessly. Unless you take in some extra water, you may suffer from dehydration up to fainting on the spot.
Fluid loss is considerable in both cases, making dehydration more evident and crucial.
You must, therefore, know how to stay hydrated with diarrhea as for vomiting, besides treating the issue, like taking sips or ice chips.
Despite a visible loss of appetite and drinking spirit in nauseated people, you should not stop drinking water, regardless of the amount.
- Burns/Skin Infections
You also need to know that skin burns and infections are another way of water loss, though negligible.
You can treat the skin with aloe extracts to soothe and keep it hydrated apart from drinking water.
This consists of a high blood sugar level, brought down by increased urine production.
It implies that you need to drink about an equal volume of water to compensate for the amount of urine out.
While your nasal region is heating up to get rid of a supposed infection, you are gradually sweating.
You may be applying cold, damp patches to lower your temperature externally, but internally, your body will need water to make up for that lost.
What Foods Dehydrate You?
There exist certain foods that you might not always pay attention to, but are secretly dehydrating you.
A health-conscious person always asks himself important questions before consuming something he knows little of. Let’s do the same.
Does salt dehydrate you?
The organ in question is the kidney, which filters the blood and maintains specific sodium and potassium concentrations.
Having much sodium in your diet will have the kidney keep more water in your system, meaning more blood rushing through veins and arteries.
Gradually, these will stiffen and result in high BP. You can also have undesirable effects, like edema (swelling in the hands and feet).
Obviously, salt can make you thirsty, suggesting an imbalance in the electrolytes.
While compensating with excess water, however, your body can lose more calcium in the urine, without which you are liable to weak bones and osteoporosis.
Drinking sufficient water will keep your cells from drying out, and your body away from edema and high BP issues.
Does beer dehydrate you?
It does, unfortunately, for drinkers. With modern beer, you can actually pee much more than you drink.
Interestingly, it contains alcohol, with molecules small enough to quickly infiltrate cell membranes. So, does alcohol dehydrate you?
On one side, your body makes 1 ml of urine each hour per kg weight of your body.
On the other side, alcohol interferes with ADH (which regulates urine flow) in your brain for the counter-effect of drawing more water out of your kidneys.
That is enough proof for a hangover since it correlates with low BP due to dehydration.
Getting rehydrated with water later doesn’t really solve the problem, as your body will then hold on to much less water than expected.
Your only way is to drink plenty of water instead of beer at all.
Will tea dehydrate you?
And not just tea, does green tea dehydrate you as well? They can both since we are talking about caffeinated teas.
And caffeine, as a diuretic, has the side effect of ejecting water from the kidneys into a more frequent urine production.
As per an analysis, drinking too much tea can be detrimental through dehydration despite its low caffeine level.
Will iced tea dehydrate you?
As caffeine content is relatively low compared to other tea drinks, it’s not a problem, but instead, it offers you little hydration as long as you respect the limit of 400 mg caffeine a day.
It can be used to refresh or rehydrate you on a hot sunny day without sugar or additives. It can replace water best when accompanied with mint and lemon.
Can decaf coffee dehydrate you?
No matter how much coffee is your favorite, the fact remains that it is a caffeinated drink. So you could turn to decaf coffee instead. But you can still doubt that it is safe.
Having the caffeine removed from the beans, it doesn’t really cause dehydration. (If your tongue feels dry afterward, it is just exposed to the tannins.)
Besides, you would want to try it for relief from anxiety and headaches, deriving antioxidants, good heart control, and enjoying free of addiction.
Can lemonade dehydrate you?
Being the sweet and sour flavor that you can’t resist when feeling hot, it contains a considerable amount of unnecessary sugars for your body.
Taking them will make your body organs work to burn them and hence, dehydrate along.
What would be better is water infused with lemon slices for the same feel but a much healthier choice.
Does carbonated water dehydrate you?
If prepared by yourself, it can serve well to hydrate you and further digestion, after you burp off the carbon dioxide gas taken in.
While in energy drinks, it is not hydrating at all. Along with fake sugars, they may be packed with caffeine and complex chemicals not good for your health.
Apart from the above, there are still worst hydration drinks you should avoid for their high-calorie content and concentrations.
They consist of soda, hot cocoa, regular coffee, sweet tea, flavored milk, and smoothies (unless for a refuel).
How to Get Rehydrated?
When considering the above issues, retaking water becomes necessary. According to Brightside, water takes no time to digest, so it’s not a worry to get hydrated fast.
You can take your own pace for that unless you’re a sports person with bigger, faster needs.
Then, you may look forth to find how much water athletes should drink a day? Or how much water should a football player drink per day?
Otherwise, your need is simple – how long does it take to rehydrate your body?
Firstly, you should know your rate of hydration, that is, how much water can you drink in an hour? One glass, two glasses, or even half a liter?
You just need to sense your thirst; once it is quenched, wait for the next session as per your daily schedule.
In other cases, like the above symptoms and causes of dehydration, you might have to alter your hydration times or rate.
How many ounces of water should you drink?
With a constant loss of body fluids through sweat and urine, water should be drunk adequately to maintain it at 60% in the body.
Thirsty or not, it is recommended to drink about 2 litres daily, whereby authorities organize it with the 8×8 rule – 8 glasses, 8 oz each, throughout the day.
Physical and mental performance depend on your hydration. Brain function and energy levels can be at risk without constant hydration.
Women can easily have a spoiled mood or concentration after exercise and are prone to headaches.
If you lose fluids equivalent to just 1% of your weight through sweat, you can leave your brain function to much harm.
If you are bound by certain health problems, simply drinking more water can be the solution.
For instance, constipation, bladder and colorectal cancer, kidney stones, acne, and skin hydration.
For some of those, the solution may fall short of scientific support but has given yet good results.
Besides plain water, you can find water in other food items. Like non-veg food, fruits, and vegetables.
But, of course, there are diuretic beverages to dehydrate you gradually, due to their caffeine. Therefore, both types will help to maintain your fluid balance.
You can count on your thirst to remind when to pick up your water bottle or glass, while you’re not too old yet.
It may be after strenuous exercise, during dry, hot weather, breastfeeding for mothers, or health issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
Eventually, drinking capacity turns out to be different for each person, leading to either better performance or frequent need to relieve yourself.
Drink as much as you or your thirst requires. Keep track when you are dehydrated to make sure you compensate for the fluid losses.
Now you know how to rehydrate, you should also take what it needs to do so.
What is The Healthiest Drinking Water?
While looking around, you may find a bottle of water at your disposal, or commonly, in the fridge.
But this bottle might not necessarily be the healthiest. It may have been exposed to heat and pressure conditions, where the water ultimately changes in concentration and taste.
So do learn the ideal conditions of drinkable water for the body.
- Mineral water + possible harmful contaminants and toxins, like lead, aluminum, prescribed drugs, pesticides, birth control pill estrogen
- Demands research on safety levels (from local water supply to filtration infrastructure)
Derived from a spring or underground reservoir
- Containing vital (but not indispensable) minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur
- Processed to filter out toxins and carbon dioxide
- Strengthens bones
- Regulates BP and manages circulation
- Helps in digestion
Purified water originating from glaciers or springs- Mechanically filtrated
- Has important minerals
- Free of pollutants
Unfiltered spring water:
- May contain viruses, bacteria, and parasites
- Requires investigation on water source from the manufacturing company
- Cause environmental damage with plastic containers
- Covers landfills widely
- Ratio of recycled to cluttered of 1:9
- Costly in the long-term
- Cheap water source
- No content
- Sterile and safe
- Nutrient and mineral-free
- Associated material absorbent
- Flat taste
One of the purest forms of water on sale
- Contain dissolved hydrogen, with antioxidants to attack potential radicals
- Has anti-inflammatory effects
- No adverse drinking side effects
- More expensive, unless made with own molecular hydrogen generator
Reverse Osmosis Water
- Filters out contaminants through semi-permeable membranes
- Eliminates pollutants like arsenic, lead, fluoride, copper, radium, sulfate, lead, chloride, pharmacy drugs, others in water supply, estrogen from birth control pills
- Requires not such an expensive machine on the kitchen sink
- Can be bought directly from health stores
- Nutrient and mineral-free
- High pH levels to lower gastric acidity
- May extend life and prevent diseases
- Low nutrient and mineral content
Distilled water remains by far the cheapest water since it is purified without any heavy investment.
Reverse osmosis and hydrogen waters can also be considered in terms of quality, though hydrogen is an expensive option.
Nevertheless, do not just look for water, as there are also healthy drinks other than water.
What drinks keep you hydrated?
If ever water is not accessible to you, you can seek certain alternatives. If you look into processed drinks, you’ll notice that most of them are water-based.
The rest of the ingredients can either alter your health or performance or conserve the drink for long.
Still, you should watch out for unsafe ingredients – like allergens or the diuretic caffeine.
Despite its higher density than water, milk doesn’t dehydrate but provides you with calcium, vitamin D, and lots of protein to replenish you on hot days.
However, there exist all sorts of milk. You should look into the contents if they suit you. For hydration, the unsweetened ones are recommended for both kids and adults.
Bland water may become dull with time. This calls for a fruit infusion – flavor without sugar.
You don’t have a shortage of options for flavor, amongst lime, basil, mint, tamarind, and so on.
Fruits and vegetables are water-rich foods, yet you need to pick out less sugary ones.
You can vary your combinations, crush them in a mixer and make your own exotic fruit or vegan juice.
Watermelon is an example, hydrating way better than fruit juice, although it falls behind coconut water by 3% water content.
(Note that coconut water may come with sugar and added ingredients.)
With milk and cream along, you can have a customized smoothie. With whatever choice you’ve made till here, you can even consider freezing it to juice pops or popsicles.
Sports drinks, though processed, contain electrolytes that optimize hydration. They are no more complex than salts and minerals in water.
Yet, keep them under moderation due to their sugar and carb content, unless you are a high-performance sportsman.
Tea also has its pro and cons. It may be diuretic with some caffeine but is finally as hydrating as water. Still, caffeine-free ones are the best here.
Moreover, you can take the benefits of the involved tea flavonoids, which protect against heart diseases, and antioxidants.
Dehydration can give you various symptoms for different levels – a thirst, for the least worse, and organ failure, for the worst.
Drinking water can help treat most cases, but severe dehydration can be treated mostly medically.
When you drink many fluids, you not only stop dehydration and its side effects but also improve many body functions for physical and mental performance.
Andreea is a fitness enthusiast with a keen interest in nutrition. She has gone from 98Kg to 70Kg through relentless hard work and getting her nutrition right with the help of a personal trainer.
She writes articles to empower anyone to take control and not let go of their mental and physical health.