DEHYDRATION – Water An Essential Nutrient
Why is water so important and how much should you drink? What happens when dehydration sets in? Got a busy lifestyle, balancing work, hobbies, family and everything else, makes it easy to forget to drink water! Addressing dehydration issues can have huge impacts to improve your health.
Water and the Digestion
Water is ingested at the mouth where it travels down into the esophagus and into the stomach. The water is then transported to the small intestine and then to large intestine where two stages of absorption occur, then excess water is excreted in feces with digestive waste and other body materials.
Water – What’s It Good For?
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Assists in conversion of food to energy
- It makes up 75% of your brain
- Helps to regulate body temperature through sweating
- Regulates fluid in bloodstream to help blood vessel flow
- Eliminates waste and byproducts from the bodies metabolism such as sodium, potassium and urea, which is a waste product formed by processing dietary protein
- Makes up 75% of your muscles
- Cushions joints
- Moisturises the skin
- Water acts as a lubricant and shock absorber in particular to the brain, eyes and spinal cord
- Makes for regular bowel movements
Dangers Of DEHYDRATION
Water is an essential nutrient for human body function and makes up 75% of our body. This means humans require a fresh supply daily in order to perform all the essential metabolic processes.
Dehydration can lead to:
- muscle spasms
- urinary tract infections
With severe dehydration, confusion and weakness will occur as the brain and other body organs receive less blood flow. Finally, coma, organ failure, and death eventually will occur if the dehydration remains untreated, a person with dehadration normally requires inmmediate Drip Hydration Therapy.
What Type Of Water?
It makes sense that plain filtered water is best to consume, with the least amount of impurities or chemicals and should be the majority of your daily water intake. Various carbonated waters are not ideal in making up the majority of your water intake. Don’t love plain water then go for, adding fresh lemon in your water or herbal teas (be mindful that green tea, black tea and chai tea are all diretics so if you drink these you need more water).
How much do we need?
The amount we need is dependant on many things! Our weight, our level of exercise, the outdoor temperatures – summer or winter, our diet ( fruit and veg comes with lots of water, whereas meat and grains don’t!), gender, age and height.
A very simple calculation to give you some idea of your water need:
YOUR WEIGHT x 30mL…
Eg 70kg x 30mL= 2.1L of water
The easiest way to makes sure we are adequately hydrated is to carry a water bottle around with you throughout the day. Try to consume a decent amount of water at the start of your day before you begin eating, this can help your bowels move and gets you started for the day. Try drinking 2 glasses before every meal and snack. Once you make a conscious note on how much water you are drinking its easy to set goals.