Water is crucial to your health. Every system in your body depends on water.
The human body is made up of between 55 and 75 percent water. Men generally have more water in their bodies than women because muscle holds more water than fat does (and women have a higher percentage of body fat compared to men). When a person loses 10 percent of their body weight in fluids, they are considered to be dehydrated, but as little as two percent can affect workout performance, cause fatigue and dull critical thinking abilities. Adequate water consumption can help keep joints lubricated, lessen the chance of kidney stones, prevent and lessen the severity of illness and help prevent constipation.
Symptoms of dehydration:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Little or no urination
- Muscle weakness
Daily hydration requirements:
Every day you lose water through sweating, exhaling, and going to the bathroom. For your body to function properly, this water needs to be replaced by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. A healthy adult’s daily fluid intake can vary widely. Most people drink fluids to quench their thirst but this may not be enough. A good guideline is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day,although many beverages can take the place of water for fluid replacement. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages should not be added to this total since they are diuretics and can cause you to lose more fluid than they provide. If you drink enough water to quench your thirst, produce a colorless or slightly yellow amount of urine, and you feel well, your current total fluid intake is probably OK. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you’ll need to drink extra water to compensate for that fluid loss. Also keep in mind that you need to drink additional water in hot or humid weather to help lower your internal body temperature and to replace what you lose through sweating.