Also known as the elixir of life, water is one of the most important substances for all living organisms. Our body contains significant amounts of water, and we need to stay hydrated to maintain optimal body function. But to stay hydrated means what?
Here is all you need to know about staying hydrated. We’ll cover the benefits of staying hydrated, how much water you should drink, and the signs of dehydration.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Stay Hydrated Means What: An Overview
Staying hydrated means maintaining adequate levels of water and fluids in your body. Around 60% of the entire human body is water, with some organs having even higher concentrations. For example, the heart is 73% water, the lungs are 83% water, and the kidneys are 79% water. The skin and muscles are 64% and 79% water, respectively. Even the bones contain over 30% water.
With so much water flowing in the body, it’s essential to consume sufficient amounts of fluids to maintain those levels. And that’s what staying hydrated means.
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated means consuming good amounts of water. But why should you bother about hydrating? Here are some crucial benefits of staying hydrated.
Boosts Brain Function and Energy
Even mild hydration can significantly reduce brain function and adversely impact mood and concentration. It can even lead to anxiety and fatigue. Consuming adequate amounts of water boosts brain function and helps you feel more energetic.
Improved Musculoskeletal Function
Your muscles and bones need water to function smoothly. If your body is dehydrated, the joints and muscles will tense up and get cramped. Therefore, it’s essential to drink water regularly to promote musculoskeletal function.
Drinking water improves metabolism and overall body function in general. The body performs several activities and functions around the clock. Water helps the body speed up those processes, thereby enhancing metabolism.
The body continuously cleanses itself by flushing out waste and toxins in the form of urine and stool. Drinking water facilitates excretion and helps eliminate toxins faster. If you’re facing digestion issues, drinking more water can be an effective remedy.
Helps You Stay Healthy
Lastly, drinking adequate amounts of water promotes overall health and wellness. Since the body uses water in almost everything it does, drinking water improves bodily function and helps you stay healthy.
Staying Hydrated Means How Much Water to Drink?
There are various theories on how much water an adult human being should drink every day to stay hydrated. The US National Academies of SEM recommends the people consume the following amount of water:
- 3.7 liters (15-16 cups) for men
- 2.7 liters (11-12 cups) for women
Additionally, all your water intake shouldn’t come from water only. Add other sources of water, such as healthy fluids and fruits, to your diet to obtain essential nutrients. Ideally, 20% of your water intake should come from foods and the rest from drinks.
Signs You Are Not Hydrated
Now, how will you know you’re not hydrated? Thankfully, the body has an effective mechanism for hydration. Whenever it runs low on fluids, it sends clear signals. Here are some signs that could indicate you’re not hydrated.
Stay Hydrated Means No Dryness in Mouth
One of the most prominent indicators of dehydration is dry mouth and tongue. If your mouth and tongue seem dry and sticky, it’s likely due to dehydration. Lack of saliva is another sign of dehydration. If you notice those symptoms, it’s time to drink water.
Dry and Flaky Skin
Your skin also gives clear signs when your body is dehydrated. Look for dryness on skin, lips, and fingers. If you notice any dryness or flakiness, it’s likely because of a lack of water in the body.
The ideal color of urine is colorless or slightly yellowish. If your urine is dark yellow, it could be a sign of dehydration. Often, the urine is accompanied by a burning sensation due to concentrated amounts of urea and uric acid.
Staying Hydrated Means No Digestion Problems
If you are facing digestion issues like constipation and you don’t have any underlying conditions, it could be because of dehydration. The body needs water to break down and digest food. Hence, consuming less water could cause or worsen constipation.
Mental and Mood Problems
As discussed, dehydration can impact brain function. If you experience unexplained confusion, headache, and anxiety, it could be a sign of dehydration. In some severe cases, dehydration can also cause fainting and sleepiness.
Stay Hydrated Means No Unexplained Fatigue and Tiredness
Lack of fluids in the body can lead to fatigue and tiredness. If you feel tired without any pragmatic reason, your body is likely asking for water. Drinking water can restore the energy levels in your body.
How to Stay Hydrated?
Having discussed the signs and dehydration and the benefits of staying hydrated, let’s talk about how you can stay hydrated. Here are a few tips to follow.
- Don’t wait for signs of dehydration, such as thirst or other symptoms. Make it a routine to consume small amounts of water at regular intervals.
- Water is tasteless, and hence, drinking it can be boring. If you don’t like the taste of water, flavor it with some fruit juice or ice pops.
- Don’t rely solely on water. Eat water-rich foods like watermelon, pineapples, strawberries, tomatoes, leafy greens, etc.
- Avoid going outside when it’s too hot. When it’s hot, the body loses water faster, and you’ll need to drink water more often.
- Avoid wearing dark clothes, as they absorb heat and cause you to sweat more. Lighter clothes provide a free flow of heat, so your body loses less water and stays cool.
- Watch out for danger signs. If you have signs of dehydration like diarrhea and vomiting, reach your doctor immediately to get medical help.
Conclusion: Stay Hydrated Means What?
Staying hydrated is crucial, as lack of water in the body can cause many problems. Water facilitates all functions in the body, from digestion to excretion to muscle function. So, it’s essential to drink 3-4 liters of water every day. Also, watch out for signs of dehydration, and if they persist, consult your doctor right away.