Are You Drinking Enough Water?
When people want to get healthier, they tend to focus on regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Unfortunately, they tend to forget to question whether or not they are adequately hydrated. Recent research reported by CBS news suggests that a full 75 percent – that’s three-quarters – of the American population is in a chronic state of dehydration. This leads us to a series of crucial questions. How did we get to this point? How does it affect our overall health? Perhaps most importantly, we have to ask what we can do to resolve the problem.
Americans are probably dehydrated for numerous reasons. Simply not drinking enough water is likely the first and most prominent issue. Research suggests that men should have at least 13 ounces of fluid a day while women should have nine. Ideally, all of this would be in the form of water. The reality is that most people tend to drink coffee and sodas, both of which actually may cause the body to become even more dehydrated.
Symptoms of Dehydration
A doctor can provide a clinical diagnosis for patients regarding their hydration level. Nonetheless, several symptoms may suggest that you’re not getting as much water as you need. Symptoms may vary from one person to the other, but some of the most common ones are dry mouth, fatigue, increased thirst and a decreased need to urinate. When urination does occur, it is darker and yellower because it is more concentrated. Some people develop severe headaches and feel dizzy.
Effects of Dehydration
Living in a constant or chronic state of dehydration can lead to a host of health issues, many of which most people don’t associate with water intake. However, it is critical to understand that our bodies consist of 60 percent water. When we don’t get enough of it, the effects can become apparent in our thinking, our emotions and our physical well-being.
For instance, chronic dehydration can mean feeling tired all the time. Because joints do not get adequate lubrication, they may begin to swell and hurt. The kidneys and liver slow down and can’t flush out toxins as efficiently as they should. Digestion is affected too. In fact, most of your digestive system suffers from a lack of water, leading to indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and other complications. A state of chronic dehydration also may raise your blood pressure and lead you to gain weight.
Fortunately, there is good news for everyone who suffers from chronic dehydration. Doctors actually say that it is one of the easiest conditions to reverse. That’s because all you really need to do is redouble your efforts to drink more water. Start slowly by replacing one soda or cup of coffee with a glass of water instead. Eventually, you’ll start replacing more and more of those less hydrating beverages with water, and you may see improvements like having more energy and a smoother digestive process even on the first days.
People who don’t like to drink water may seek alternatives. Flavoring water with fruit or vegetables works for some. Others resolve to increase their fluid intake by indulging in more foods that contain large amounts of water like cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon and lettuce. Smoothies and coconut water are other alternatives that may appeal to people who dislike plain water.
If you need even more tips about hydration and getting into the best shape of your life, then contact a My House Fitness near you. Our personal training staff are here for you when it comes to developing exercise and nutrition plans that fit your goals and lifestyle.