The Earth is covered with about 70 percent water. Humans are made up of about the same percent as Earth, so it is no wonder why we need to keep hydrated. According to thefreedictionary.com, hydration is the process of combining with water.
Summer is here, and in Utah, it will be hot causing people to become dehydrated. There is one very simple way to avoid this process: drink water.
Keeping hydrated is important since we are mostly water; it makes sense that the body uses water to maintain its system.
Water is the agent that makes blood flow, which supplies needed nutrients to cells and removes waste; it is also the means of controlling heart rate and body temperature.
Without water the body will stop working. Survival experts say after three days water is needed or the person will die.
Signs of dehydration:
Dry, sticky mouth
Sleepiness or tiredness
Decreased urine output
Few or no tears when crying
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Signs of severe dehydration:
Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children
Irritability and confusion in adults
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
Lack of sweating
Little or no urination
Any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
In infants, sunken fontanels
Low blood pressure
No tears when crying
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Most people when they get thirsty don’t reach for water. Being thirsty is one of the signs of dehydration. Other signs include dry skin, headache and constipation.
The big question is how much water is necessary to stay hydrated. The simple rule that we hear all the time is eight glasses a day. This is the minimum. People need to drink enough to replace what has been expelled though perspiration, breathing and bodily waste.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that men consume about 3 liters and women 2.2 liters of water through drinking and high water-content food like cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and citrus fruit.
One of the quickest ways to hydrate naturally is to drink coconut water or eat watermelon; both are healthy alternatives to Gatorade.
While soda is liquid, it is combined with sugar and caffeine, so soda is not the best thing to use to hydrate.
If a person is unable to keep fluids down, more irritable, sleepy or less active than usual, has diarrhea, bloody stool, or has other signs of dehydration, it is time to seek medical attention. Dehydration, especially in older individuals and children, should be taken seriously.
The simple key is to drink water and eat lots of water laden fruits and if all else fails drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day.