Choose Water for a Healthy Beautiful Life
Water for a Healthy Beautiful Life: Chronic dehydration is virtually an epidemic in America. Most people are so accustomed to being dehydrated that they don’t even notice it’s happening. They attribute headaches, joint pain and digestive issues to other problems, when they might be able to alleviate all of these symptoms just by drinking more water. Americans are fortunate to have ready access to potable water pretty nearly anywhere they go. While running errands, traveling, on vacation and even taking a cruise that reusable water bottle is again a convenient source of hydration. Plus, with technologically advanced water filtration systems (like Pelican Water Systems), that water is usually clean, pure and refreshing. Reusable water bottlesare also readily available. Most people probably own at least one or two. So why are Americans dehydrated?
A number of factors contribute to chronic dehydration. Busy schedules and constantly on-the-go lifestyles are two of the main culprits. Sometimes people don’t get enough water because they drink other things, like soda and alcohol, that don’t offer the same kind of beneficial hydration. Other people don’t like the taste, or lack of it, of water. Whatever the reasons may be for an individual, dehydration can have serious short and long term consequences.
Dehydration is associated with feeling tired and groggy. When the body is dehydrated, the brain cannot function optimally. Being hydrated enables better concentration and makes it possible to focus. The brain also relies heavily on the body’s blood supply to keep it going. When someone is dehydrated, their blood supply becomes reduced, resulting in imbalances that may manifest themselves as emotional outbursts and slower mental functioning. Stress only contributes to the problem. A body under stress releases certain stress hormones, which also adds to dehydration. Accordingly, drinking plenty of water and learning to manage stress can both help anyone feel healthier and more energized.
When a person is dehydrated, the condition can wreak havoc with their digestive processes. The body is unable to secrete adequate digestive juices. Consequently, food cannot be broken down as efficiently, and the body may miss out on absorbing vital nutrients. An uncomfortable and all too common side effect of this inefficiency is heartburn. However, the digestive problems don’t end there. Many people also become constipated as a result of dehydration. This happens because the colon needs water to produce stool. If the body is dehydrated, the colon sends water to other parts of the body and does not keep enough to create waste. The result is high levels of discomfort, frequently on an ongoing basis.
Chronic dehydration can even contribute to joint pain. Joints need lubrication to function. Without water, they can’t get the lubrication they need. Joint pain keeps people from being active and living life to the fullest. The muscles may also be affected by a lack of water. When properly hydrated, muscles are elastic and function optimally. Without water, muscle fatigue and shrinkage mean that the body cannot perform to its highest potential.
A lack of water even affects physical appearance, most noticeably in the skin. Well hydrated skin is elastic and firm. When the skin isn’t getting the water it needs, it can look dry, papery and wrinkled. Proper hydration can minimize the appearance of some wrinkles, though it shouldn’t be expected to completely erase them.
Dehydration can even cause people greater suffering through allergies. Histamine levels rise when the body is not adequately hydrated. The immune system quickly becomes unbalanced and allergic reactions begin. Good hydration may mean less sniffling and sneezing.
As uncomfortable as the immediate effects of dehydration may be, the long term, more severe consequences can be absolutely devastating. The body’s organs, in particular the kidneys, may cease to function. Without adequate hydration, people are also susceptible to heat related injuries like heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Dehydration also causes an electrolyte imbalance which can lead to seizures. It can even send the body into low blood volume shock as the blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels. The most extreme cases of dehydration may lead to coma and eventually death.
Fortunately, the body offers plenty of clues that reveal low hydration levels. Thirst is the most obvious indicator, but other symptoms like confusion and fatigue can also be early warning signs. The onset of a headache and a dry mouth may also be initial symptoms of dehydration. Additionally, urine that is dark or particularly odorous indicates a need to consume more water.
The question of how much water is enough needs to be settled on an individual basis. Once, drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day was the recommendation. However, that amount is merely a rule of thumb and not based on scientific data. Some people might require more than that while others might do very well on less. The best advice is to experiment with different amounts of water for a few days. By doing this, most people can figure out the optimum amount of water consumption for their body.
For people unaccustomed to drinking water, incorporating more water into their daily intake can seem daunting. However, small adjustments can yield good results. Start and end the day with a glass of water. Make a point of drinking a glass of water with each meal. Before working out, drink some water, and then keep the hydration going during and after the workout. A desk at work can become a hydration zone by keeping a reusable water bottle on hand. While running errands, traveling, on vacation and even taking a cruise that reusable water bottle is again a convenient source of hydration.
Of course, consuming all this water may mean less consumption of other liquids. Although the body does get some water from sodas, sports drinks, coffee and other beverages, it gets a lot of other things too. Sugar, excess calories and caffeine can all have an adverse effect on the body and affect the adsorption rate of nutrients. Switch out a few of these drinks with water for a better nutritional effect. If plain water just seems too boring, squeeze in some lemon or lime or throw a few berries into a drinking glass. Regularly consuming clean, filtered water may be the key to a healthier, richer life.
via Pelican Water