Dehydration is the most common health condition, which is often neglected by many. Dehydration occurs when the body loses water or fluid without replacing it. Water performs different vital tasks in the body and acts as lubricant, a metabolism and waste removal medium, and a constant temperature control regulator. If we feed our bodies with enough water, our bodies will restore to a balanced and complete state. This explains that every cell in our bodies requires water to function correctly, and it is also necessary to deal with the toxins our bodies encounter each day.
Dehydration can occur to anyone; it is not an age-specific condition. However, in people with chronic diseases or diabetes, adrenal disorders, renal disorders, and cystic fibrosis like conditions, athletes, and those residing at higher altitudes are more prone to dehydration. People don't take dehydration seriously. But do you know what kind of changes dehydration makes in human bodies? Dehydration reduces brain capacity to work and also impairs kidney function. When dehydration turns into a chronic one, then bloods concentration increases, chances of kidney infections and stones increase, constipation, frequent headaches, excessively dry skin, abnormal electrolyte levels, hormonal disturbances, and many more things happen at a cellular level.
Moreover, it can lead to serious health problems, such as low blood pressure, kidney stones, heatstroke, inflammation of the urinary tract, and renal insufficiency. People can even experience seizures or even death in extreme cases due to the reduced oxygen supply to the body's tissues. This happens because our body is made up of 70% of water, which means we have to stay hydrated all the time.
Acute dehydration is sometimes neglected as it happens because of heat exposure or prolonged physical activity and can be cured by drinking the right amount of water. But chronic dehydration is a result of prolonging fluid loss. This usually occurs when you do not drink enough water every day, and your body starts functioning at a low water level. The human body always tries to adapt to the situation, and constant low fluids make the body function with less water. Ultimately, body and health suffer. So, how can we keep body hydrated and dehydration away?
Do not keep yourself thirsty
This is the first rule, not to be thirsty to drink water. Remember, if you are feeling thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated. Thus, it is always better to drink water at regular intervals. For that, you can do many things,
• Set a reminder to drink water. Many apps are nowadays helping to achieve per day water goals.
• Increase fluid intake as much as possible. Try to incorporate juices and some fruits with high water content in daily life.
• Yogurt and cottage cheese also help keep the body hydrated as it is a natural source of sodium and potassium.
• Eat some spicy food, which will make you thirsty.
Check your skin and urine colour
Yes, skin and urine colour show the water level in the body. If you are dehydrated or the water level is low, then your urine colour will be dark. Your skin will be a little pale and dry. According to experts, the urine colour should be light yellow.
Therefore, keep a check on your skin texture and the urine colour. If you find that colour is unusual than usual, immediately hydrate yourself.
Make your water enjoyable
Sometimes it isn't easy to drink plain water all day, so to keep hydrated, you can make water interesting by adding some flavours. One can have lemon water, honey water, coconut water, some fruit juices. Keeping yourself hydrated is essential, of course, plain water should be the primary source, but you can also take some juices, caffeine-free tea, and flavoured waters to stay hydrated.
For example, Chamomile tea is best to have as it is a natural pain alleviator, so the stomach cramps that frequently follow dehydration may also be alleviated. Also, drinking buttermilk with some dry ginger 3 to 4 times a day is useful.
Watch your daily activities and water intake
Although the body's ideal water requirement is two litter, everyone needs water according to their daily activities. Because during certain activities' body loses water and at that time two litter water is not enough. For example, a sportsperson or person who works more in the sun needs more water than usual. Also, some daily activities like shower, exercise, walking, cycling, cooking, and so on cause water loss. So, one should drink water before doing any activity. It will not only build a good habit but also make you energetic. Even during sleep, we lose water, so it is always advisable to immediately drink two glasses of water after waking up.
Cut-down your caffeine and alcohol intake
Excessive intake of tea, coffee, or alcohol can make body dehydrated. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics; they can make you lose your water. Thus, make sure you take at least the same amount of H2O to balance the body's hydration.
Lastly, if you have any medical conditions which keep you dehydrated, then consult your doctor and take precautionary care before it aggravates.
Dehydration is severe, and if it becomes chronic, it will create havoc in the body at higher levels. So, stay hydrated and keep yourself healthy. Keep a water bottle, reminder apps, reduce caffeine and alcohol, increase intake of water-filled fruits, and so on. Remember, drink more and eat less is the best way to stay healthy.