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Fundamentals of Hydration

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Water is necessary for every cell, tissue, and organ in your body to function properly. It helps you stay hydrated, feeds your cells, and allows your body's systems to work in harmony. Nonetheless, there are situations where your body loses a greater amount of liquid than it can replenish, bringing about lack of hydration.

For your overall health, it's important to know the basics of dehydration, look into its signs and symptoms, and address specific concerns. Knowing these things can also help you stay hydrated and avoid illness.

Let's delve into the fundamentals of dehydration and discover the ways in which the body relies on water for optimal hydration and health.

Grasping the Fundamentals of Dehydration

Water carries out different critical roles, is a fundamental for organ function, and involves generally 60% of our bodies.

Organ function: It's a necessary part of blood, this essential liquid that moves all through our bodies, carrying oxygen and nutrients to each cell. As well as perfusing our brain and organs, water also has other roles that keeps us alive.

Immune function: Staying hydrated is essential to maintain lymph levels and immune function. Additionally, proper hydration maintains the body's normal detoxification process. Hydration ensures wastes and poisons can be eliminated from your body.

Temperature regulation: The regulation of body temperature and the prevention of hypothermia and overheating both require water. Sweat is produced by your body when you are hot and evaporates to cool you off. Once the body has been adequately cooled down, your body limits how much water presented to the skin's surface.

Joint function: Additionally, water works to normally hydrate the joints. Synovial fluid is the type of fluid that the body makes to lubricate the joints, lessen bone on bone contact, and is responsible for smooth joint movement.

Dehydration occurs when we lose water quicker than the body can take in; predisposing the body to illness and disease. As your body works overtime to cool you down, sweating can significantly increase your water loss during extreme heat and vigorous exercise.

Fever, nausea, or diarrhea are all signs of illness, which can result in significant water loss. Vigorous exercise, working in extreme heat, living in a dry climate, and lack of access to water can all contribute to dehydration.

Signs and Side effects of Dehydration

Your body's warning system is thirst, which tells you to drink more water.

However, since thirst is frequently a delayed response to dehydration, relying solely on this thirst mechanism is not ideal. As a survival mechanism, the more the body ignores thirst, the less thirst signals it will send off, which may trick you into thinking you're not thirsty when in reality, the body is actually dehydrated. Relying on thirst to tell us when to drink water is even more unreliable in certain populations, such as children and the elderly. These reasons may explain why 70% of Americans are dehydrated. Read our next article to learn how you can easier recognize when your body is telling you it's time to drink more water.


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