What if that lack of energy, that lethargy and those aches and pains were simply because you aren't drinking sufficient WATER?
We all know that water is the foundation of our planet. It covers 71 percent of our earth’s surface and about the same in the human body. It's a critical element to all of life.
How can it be that we are so unconscious of it integral importance to health that around 75% of us are chronically dehydrated?
The New York Hospital and Cornell Medical Center studied patients' water levels. What they found is nothing short of amazing.
75% of its 3,003 subjects were experiencing net fluid loss from chronic dehydration. It is, therefore, no exaggeration to say that America is indeed facing a dehydration crisis.
Let's look at it. First, it can lead to an immense and varied number of concerning health issues. It has been linked to decreased kidney function, kidney stones, hypertension, urinary tract infections, intestinal failures… even dementia.
This evidence is already devastating enough, but the truth is that researchers are only just starting to understand all the many effects that chronic dehydration could be wreaking on our bodies. Who knows what further harm this epidemic may be creating for chronically dehydrated people like er.. you or…me.
It's a rather strange phenomenon. The body is programmed to alert us when we are water deficient through the brain’s sensation of thirst. And much like your car’s gas gauge, our brains are programmed to give us this sensation well before we reach the stage of dehydration, even as soon as when we are only a few hundred milliliters short of water.
And yet many biological and social factors have recently emerged to help us ignore our brain’s signal and quicken the onset of dehydration. And it's all to do with lifestyle
When we feel this sensation of thirst, many of us will turn to sugar laden sodas or caffeinated beverages. These beverages only serve to magnify the issue further. But wait! There's more. Many of us confuse our brain’s signal for thirst as a need for rest or food. “People think that when they start to get weak, or they have a headache, they need to eat something” explains Grace Webb, Assistant Director for Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital, “but most often they need to drink.”
If you engage in strenuous exercises like mountain biking or marathon running you sweat more water than most, and therefore require a higher intake. Any athlete who engages in any incline or altitude sports inevitably finds themselves particularly susceptible to dehydration. High altitude can lead to excessive sweating and promote more aggressive breathing – and this, in turn, leads to heightened water loss.
Finally, there are many biological factors that bring us closer to joining the ranks of the chronically dehydrated.
Infants are especially predisposed to dehydration. Their bodies are 78 percent water and so they need an increased intake. The elderly also carry a higher risk as their thirst mechanism grows increasingly weaker as they age. Those with dementia have a 600% higher chance for dehydration. If you are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes or kidney problems you may also suffer from chronic dehydration due to the frequent urination.
Chronic dehydration is indeed a severe problem in many countries, but there is so much that can you can do to combat the issue.
- The Duh-Oh Point: Drink plenty of water- The simplest advice is the best. Do all you can to get your daily allotment of water. Download an App like MyFitnessPal and My Water Balance, or you can go the old school manual route and fill up a large container with your daily allotment in the morning and ensure that is is all consumed by the end of the day. (This is my fave. Nothing makes me guilty like half-full bottle of my Ultrastream water sitting on the kitchen bench.
- Addmore fruits and vegetables to your diet- Yes, upping your water intake is hands down the best path for battling chronic dehydration, but fruits and vegetables are loaded with water as well. Boosting your fruit and vegetable intake, and you are absolutely helping to combat dehydration.
- Limit drinks with caffeine, soft drinks and alcohol- these substances are diuretics and can cause our bodies to expel a great deal of water, which in effect will lead to dehydration. Avoiding or at least limit these drinks, yand ou are ensuring that your body stays possibly hydrated.
Carry water with you where you go- bring an eco-friendly reusable water bottle with you on the go, so you can ensure you have water available at all times. To ensure that your water is clean, healthy and tastes great- consider bringing along a portable water purifier like the OKO. It's designed for the wilds of the world so it works superbly in our relatively tame water supplies. If you can't stand the taste of water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to give your water a fruity kick.
The statistics on dehydration are staggering, and it is clear that we are undergoing a severe dehydration crisis. So many of our modern health complications could be either reduced or even remedied by simply integrating more water intake into our daily lives.
It’s time to take this issue more seriously.
Drink more water. Its the foundation of the earth, ánd of us. It is what we are! It should, therefore, should be first on our list of diet preferences. And hey, it's still an amazing bargain!