Ezine Articles

Copyright Matt Canham.

Are you chronically dehydrated?

For many of us, when we hear the term dehydration, we immediately think of a man staggering in the desert, or an athlete having just finished a gruelling event. We are correct in a sense, however these are both examples of acute dehydration.

You may be surprised to learn there is a far more widespread form — chronic dehydration — that we should all be concerned with.

So how do you know if you are chronically dehydrated? Again, many people have the belief that when they require fluids they will feel thirsty. Not so. By the time the mouth is dry and you feel thirsty, the body is well and truly dehydrated. You may also be surprised to know that a dry mouth is a sign of acute dehydration. You have gone beyond chronically dehydrated by that point.

The body is a smart system though, and before you reach the point of dry mouth, the body will give signs as it begins the process of redistributing the available water. When the body is in a state of chronic dehydration, then fatigue/energy loss, constipation, digestive disorders, high and low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, respiratory troubles, acid/alkaline imbalance, excess weight and obesity, eczema, cholesterol, urinary infections, rheumatism and premature aging will take place. I can (and will) write an article on each of these problems, but they are all caused by being chronically dehydrated. Any way you look at it, having to go to the bathroom more than once a day is a small price to pay for feeling great and being healthy.

The human body consists of 70% water, the brain consists of 80% water, the blood consists of 90% water. Let’s face it, we rely on water as the basis of our existence — not soda, or juice or coffee, tea and beer. We need to ingest water in its purest form, free from any chemicals in order for our cells to remain hydrated and our body systems functioning as they should.

How much water do you need? The best way to calculate your daily water intake is to take half your weight in pounds and convert it to ounces. If you weigh 160 lbs and work in an office, then 80 oz of water throughout the day is what you need to be drinking. If you are working strenuously outdoors in a hot climate, then you would need more. It should seem like you are constantly going to the bathroom and your urine should be clear. This is how you know you are properly hydrated. Every night you sweat as you sleep, so you need to repeat the same process every day of every month of every year you are on the planet.

We know that a 1% loss of total body weight in water will result in a 10% loss in physical ability. When you consider at a temperature of 82 fa, water loss is 3 liters an hour, or more than 4% of total body weight, that means we can expect a 40% loss in physical ability. If you are working in that temperature, it increases. I don't know about you, but there are a lot of places I’ve lived that get to 100. In such warm environments, you need even more water to stay hydrated. For your physical and mental well being, it certainly pays to consider both the quality and quantity of the water you drink.

Are you hungry or thirsty?

If we need water, we can either ingest liquid or we can ingest food with water content. Our bodies will settle for either, but it is usually the food we go for instead of the liquid. Yes, in many cases, we mistake hunger for thirst, eating as much food as we need in order to get the water our body requires. The result of this is added stored fat — assuming the foods consumed are processed or take away as most busy people are inclined to eat. And the more you eat — you guessed it — the more water you need to digest and eliminate waste from your body.

Our bodies are made of water and without it, we are lucky to survive 3 days. Despite this, so many of us live our lives with uncomfortable medical problems such as constipation, simply because we don’t drink enough water. Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting different results.” So, do it. Drink more water. Hydrate your cells. They will be happy and you will also be happy as a result.

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