We all know that staying hydrated is an important part to a healthy diet. And although you can drink a variety of beverages to stay hydrated, nothing beats drinking water in terms of it’s effectiveness.
So how much water exactly should we be drinking?
This is a topic that has long been debated among health professionals with no concrete answer. Some health experts recommend 2 liters of water per day while others say the answer isn’t quite that simple. The reality is that the amount of water you drink in a day can depend on many factors, so the best bet is to listen to your body’s natural dehydration warning signs and understand why drinking water is so important in the first place.
Symptoms Of Dehydration
The main reason that we should drink a certain amount of water per day is to stay hydrated. The amount of water we drink, however, depends on several factors such as activities we take part in, the type of food we eat and our overall state of health.
Failing to drink enough water in a day can lead to dehydration, which in some cases can be dangerous. If you notice any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing mild to moderate dehydration and should drink water right away:
- thirst and a dry mouth
- dry skin
- mild headache
- light headed or a feeling of fainting
- cramped muscles
- minimal urine which appears darker than usual with a strong scent
If you do not take action quickly, your moderate dehydration can become severe. Once again, your body will warn you only this time it could be a final warning before becoming unconscious and possibly dying. Symptoms of severe dehydration include:
- extreme thirst and dry mouth
- lips turning blue
- confusion and dizziness
- cold extremities
- rapid breathing and heartbeat
- low energy which may lead to unconsciousness
Why Is Staying Hydrated So Important?
Now that you know the dangers of becoming dehydrated and how to know when your body is asking for more water, we will explain why water is so important to our survival in the first place. Water intake helps with many regular functions of the body, including:
- keeping the mouth wet and clean so that it is more difficult for tooth decaying bacteria to build up on our teeth
- controlling our internal body temperature
- replenishing our tears and sweat glands
- removing waste from our bowels
- carrying nutrients around the body
These are just some of the reasons that staying hydrated is so important to our overall health. One more reason that must be noted is that our body is made up of about 60% water content, so it only makes sense that we have to keep replenishing this water as it is lost throughout the day.
Here are some tips to make sure you are consuming the ideal amount of water intake for your body:
- drink a cup of water every night before going to bed to hydrate yourself for the night
- drink a cup of water when you wake up to re-hydrate from the night
- keep water around you as much as possible so you can take a sip any time you feel thirsty
- drink water with your meals to stay hydrated while eating
- and most importantly, listen to your body