Is Your Body Chronically Dehydrated?
Why proper hydration is so important
The human body is comprised of approximately 75% water: 90% of our lungs, 84% of our blood, and 76% of our brain. Each day the average person loses approximately 10 cups of water through urine, sweat, and breathing, therefore, this loss needs be replaced on a daily basis.
Water is required for every cell to function properly. It transports nutrients and hormones throughout the body’s tissues and system, flushes out wastes, regulates body temperature, and supports all chemical processes in the body. Low water consumption makes it difficult for the body to eliminate toxins. Consequently, low water intake may increase the risk for cancer and many other diseases.
When your body is not adequately hydrated, it affects your overall health with one of the first symptoms being a headache and many people are chronically dehydrated without even realizing it. People tend to mistake thirst for hunger and then eat when their bodies actually need fluid. It is crucial to drink lots of water to help the body eliminate toxic waste, clear excessive fat from the bloodstream and relieve constipation.
If you physically train through the week or are an athlete ensuring that you drink adequate amounts of water to properly rehydrate the body and support its recovery and performance is critical. Energy drinks, Powerade, etc are loaded with sugar, so be careful in relying on these drinks for hydration. Better to simply add some sea salt or infuse your own (see Tip #3 below) to spice it up.
Symptoms of chronic dehydration:
According to Dr. Dave Carpenter, author of Change Your Water, Change Your Life, below are the twelve most common symptoms of chronic dehydration:
- High Blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Acid-alkaline imbalance
- Digestive disorders
- Asthma and allergies
- Weight gain
- Skin disorders
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Bladder or kidney problems
- Premature aging
Yes, you have probably heard a hundred times how important drinking enough water on a daily basis is for your overall health. But it is true, you need to drink enough water consistently throughout the day to assist the body in all the amazing activities is does to work in keeping itself healthy for you. Don't wait until you are thirsty! Keep a glass or bottle of water within reach so you can keep yourself hydrated.
Staying properly hydrated enhances:
- Digestion (nutrients to body cells)
- Nutrient absorption
- Skin hydration (have chapped lips?)
- Detoxification (eliminating toxins from the body)
- Balancing blood pH
- And virtually every aspect of health
Tips for healthy hydration
Don’t wait until your thirsty to drink water; thirst indicates that you have already become dehydrated!
Try to make a consistent effort to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day.
If you struggle drinking plain water, add one of these fresh infusions to 4 cups (1 litre) of water:
- slices of cucumber
- ½ lemon or lime, juiced
- sprig of fresh mint
- a few halved strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of blueberries
- 1-2 slices of orange
*Remember that coffee, soft drinks and juice do not count as water, and are also acidic forming in the body.
Breanne Gibson, MSc., DHN, ROHP, RNCP
As a leading holistic nutritionist, lifestyle mentor, and permaculture designer, Breanne empowers high achieving and sustainably-driven leaders and entrepreneurs optimize their health and performance and design a resilient life they love so they can be living their full potential as they share their gifts with the world. Read her inspiring story, “From Peachland girl to military officer to a worldwide permaculture exploration” that lead her to where she is today.