Hydration and Its Effects On Cell Health
Here’s a cool biological factoid.
Your body is sixty percent water! Pretty crazy.
And because of the amount of water in your body, it stands to reason it uses water to perform a myriad of functions including:
1. Lubricating your joints
2. Regulating your body temperature
3. Protecting your organs
4. Flushing out waste
5. Carrying nutrients to the cells
6. Carrying oxygen to the cells
7. Dissolving minerals and nutrients
8. To rid your body of toxins
9. Giving you healthier skin
So if you don’t replenish water (become dehydrated) in your body, it will no longer be able to perform its natural functions.
One of the most common, but least realized problems, is that focus and memory function will suffer. Brain-related dehydration reinforces the idea that hydration is crucial to health, not just for physical function.
Water is necessary for life.
We can live for days without food but less than a week without water.
A healthy brain is not the only beneficiary of a well-hydrated body. Your heart requires hydration to pump blood through its vessels and into your muscles. When you’re well-hydrated your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to help muscles work more efficiently and effectively.
When you’re dehydrated it can lead to serious health problems ranging from headache to swollen feet to life-threatening illnesses including heat stroke.
Individuals who suffer chronic dehydration may experience kidney stones, constipation, liver, joint and muscle damage and even cholesterol issues.
How much water does your body need?
Being “well-hydrated” is different for every person.
The water your body requires depends on many factors including:
1. The clothing you’re wearing
2. The intensity of your exercise
3. The climate and conditions where you’re working out
4. The duration of your workout
5. How much you perspire
6. The medications you’re on
7. Your overall health and activity levels
If you sweat profusely, you will need to drink more water to replenish your body than will someone who doesn’t perspire heavily. If you have heart disease or diabetes your doctor may tell you to drink more water.
Thirst isn’t the best indicator you need a drink. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink before you’re thirsty. Get in the habit of having water nearby and sipping on a glass of water regularly – whether you’re working out or not.
It’s not just athletes who need to stay hydrated
Hydration is crucial for athletes and during physical activity. Hydration is also important for those who are just sitting in the sun or being out of doors on a hot, humid day. When you sweat, you are losing fluids and you need to replenish them.
Everyone can be prone to dehydration, but there are individuals who are at a higher risk. Those who undertake intense workouts or those who engage in mountain climbing are at a higher risk. Mountain climbers are losing water through sweating and the pressure in higher altitude areas make them sweat more and breathe harder – increases in gas exchange in the harder breathing causes their bodies to lose more water vapor.
Those especially susceptible to dehydration
Endurance Athletes: If you’ve competed in a longer distance race or other intense activity you certainly have seen (or personal experienced) the need to receive medical treatment and care because of disorientation and confusion. This is due to the loss of fluids due to heavy sweating leads to reduced levels of electrolytes and cellular dysfunction.
Elderly: Unfortunately, a large percentage of people over 60 years of age take some pharmaceutical medications. And many of these can affect hydration. In addition, many older people already have cognitive issues and are especially sensitive to this loss of fluid. And to make matters even worse, as you get older the thirst receptors diminish and you may not feel thirsty even though you are dehydrated.
Infants and Children: Younger people are also prone to dehydration because their bodies are composed of even more water than adults and this makes them more vulnerable to water depletion.
What should you drink?
Plain filtered water is best for staying hydrated but you will also get some water through foods including fruits and vegetables that are high in water (watermelon, apples, etc.)
Do NOT drink soda or fruit juices to replenish fluid as the high sugar content reduces the absorption ability. Avoid “sports” drinks high in calories and added sugar and caffeinated drinks as these can act as diuretics and can lead to dehydration.
You should consider adding some salt to your sea or pink salt to your water or drink coconut water, if you’re working out at a high intensity level in hot weather
To gain even more benefit from water, add Hydroxin. This is a delicious powder formula you mix with water to boost cellular hydration levels. Hydroxin helps support health and vitality by supporting your hydration and giving your body many vitalizing superfruits, phytonutrients and herbs.
What about tap water?
In most locations tap water contains fluoride and heavy metals and byproducts of the disinfection process to make the water “safe” for consumption. These can have negative impacts on your health. Instead, drink filtered water. Whether you install a water filter on the tap or filter water in a pitcher in your refrigerator, the filter will ensure contaminants are removed before you drink it.
How can you assure you’re staying hydrated?
1. Hydrate before, during and after physical activity. Drinking water before a workout helps prevent dehydration and means your body isn’t playing “catch up” and putting a strain on your heart.
2. Drinking water, don’t ingest empty calories and sugar. You typically don’t require additional electrolytes like those in sports drinks, unless you’re exercising more than a few hours
3. Check your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, your urine will be pale yellow. If you’re not well-hydrated your urine will be darker in color. Monitor your hydration based not only on thirst, but on urine color.
4. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. This is a general recommendation, but you may need more if you’re more active.
Rule of thumb for drinking water and athletes
Weigh yourself before you exercise. Weigh yourself after you exercise. Note how much you’ve lost through perspiration. For every pound you have lost, you need to drink a pint of water to replenish your body and rehydrate yourself.
A football player who is running drills and wearing pads, for example, can lose five pounds or more during a summer practice. He will need to replenish that lost liquid.
A red flag to be aware of: If you’re working out and you’re not sweating this means you’re dehydrated and could be on the verge of heat exhaustion.
Listen to your body
You are the best advocate for your body. If you’re sweating profusely or if you’re thirsty, you need to replenish your body with water. If you are feeling hungry, it may be you just need water.
Don’t wait for other symptoms to arise. Be consistent with drinking water and your mind and body will thank you.