by Jovhannah Tisdale

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

July 13, 2023 | Health & Wellness

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The Health Consequences Of Dehydration

Water is considered a panacea for sustaining life as well as promoting health. You should drink at least eight glasses each day to replenish your body’s reserves and to prevent dehydration. 

A good rule of thumb that I follow is to drink 1/2 your weight in water. So if you weigh 150, then you would need to drink at least 75 oz of water each day.

Avoid dehydration as it can lead to a series of health issues. These complications can make a person sick as toxins and pollutants collect in the body if they are not “flushed” out of the system.

Side Effects Associated With Mild to Moderate Dehydration

When water is not regularly consumed contaminants build up, which can cause illness or heath issues. 

People may complain of such maladies as fatigue, digestive disturbances and headaches as well as pimples, dry skin or dry hair. However, these sorts of side effects are light when compared to dehydration that is more pronounced.

Severe Side Effects

While thirst, tiredness, dry mouth, dry skin, constipation or lightheadedness may make up moderate symptoms, severe dehydration is noted by symptomatology that is marked by such responses as:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shriveled inelastic skin
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • Extreme irritability
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Little or no urination
  • Sunken eyes
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

What Color is Your Pee?

Thirst is not an accurate or reliable gauge if the body needs water. You can tell if you require more water by observing your urine’s color. While light-colored or clear urine means you are taking in enough water, urine that is dark yellow is a signal that you are not consuming enough H20.

Emergency Measures

If you are suffering mild to moderate hydration, increase your fluid intake by consuming something like Powerade or Gatorade. These sports drinks contain electrolytes that can replenish what dehydration has taken away.

Immediate medical care is advised if you are suffering extreme thirst or feel dizzy or confused.

If an older adult or child cannot keep fluids down, is disoriented, or has diarrhea, fever or vomiting, either go the nearest emergency room or dial 911. 

A “Nutrient” That Cannot Be Ignored

Oral rehydration solutions should be given to ensure that dehydration does not become severe. 

Both children and adults should drink plenty of water before and after exercise or consume sports drinks like Gatorade, that were create to replenish electrolytes.

Water is a “nutrient” that cannot be ignored when it comes to good health. 

This is especially important when exercising because sweating removes water from our bodies and at this time, hydration is of utmost importance.

Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Water

In order to ensure you are getting enough water, also make it a practice to consume foods such as citrus, watermelon, tomatoes and cantaloupe. Vegetables that also help in the hydration process include celery, greens, and lettuce.

Foods That Lead To Dehydration

While vomiting and diarrhea are the main causes of dehydration in people suffering from the flu or other illness, certain everyday foods can lead to dehydration too. 

Be mindful if you are already mildly dehydrated of the following foods:

  • French fries
  • Cured meats
  • Coffee (a natural diuretic)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Bouillon cubes

Any sugary drink can lead to dehydration too. So, even if you think you are replenishing your system with sugary soda, you are probably doing more harm than good. 

Balancing Out Your Electrolytes

While consuming a small amount of soy sauce will not cause you undue problems, consuming an excess quantity can result in an electrolyte imbalance known as hypernatremia. 

In fact, replacing electrolytes can improve any health problems that stem from dehydration.

So, if you want to stay healthy and hydrated, make it a point to get enough water each day. You can’t count that daily Starbucks in the mix nor can you include that sugar filled soda or juice you got out of the vending machine. Water, I prefer spring water, is still the best source for your hydration needs. 

Healthy Substitutes

If you don’t’ want to consume plain water, choose a flavored water instead. You can add a flavored, sugar-free powder, such as Crystal Light, to iced water too. Juice, such as apple juice, cranapple juice or V8 are also healthy substitutes. I would just make sure it's actual juice.

Vitamin water and various flavored water products have recently hit the market and are a good alternative for those who really cannot stand to drink plain water. However, keep in mind that some contain added sugar that no one needs, so check the labels. Vitamin Water Zero is a good option, as it contains all the healthy stuff without added sugars.

You can also try infusing your water with fruit and honey or agave if you want a flavored water. I love cucumber, mint, and lemon in my water. Try any fruits that you enjoy in your water.

Make sure you get all the water you need by keeping a container of water available at your side. Also, check the color of your urine to make sure you are rehydrating properly. If you have any medical concerns, always check with your physician. They can advise you on if you're getting enough water and essential nutrients in your body.

Owner of The Kulture Spa

Peace & Blessings! I'm passionate about healing my community as a Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist, Energy Healing Practitioner, and Master Spiritual Life Coach. My mission is to help you Feel Better: Body, Mind & Soul.

The Kulture Spa was birthed so that I could be a beacon of healing and educate my community while providing transformational, holistic healing and spiritual wellness services #forthekulture.

I'm an avid reader, lover of tea, crystals, tarot, learning, traveling, tacos, and journaling! I live and work in Wake Forest, North Carolina. And am Mom to two beautiful and smart daughters.

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