Hydration Awareness

By Merilee Kern

Water. We all need it and know we need it for optimum health and wellness. Still, a shocking few live daily life in a properly hydrated state and then certainly not with consistency.

One doctor-driven report revealed that 75 percent of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration. It went on to underscore that saying, “Over time, failure to drink enough water can contribute to a wide array of medical complications from fatigue, joint pain and weight gain to headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure and kidney disease.”

Understanding there are commonplace facets of our collective lifestyles that put us at a higher risk of developing mild to severe dehydration, here are some tips from preeminent health experts help you stay happily hydrated.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Many factors impact how much water you need, including your age, gender, activity level and overall health…

“For women, the amount of total water is about 11.5 cups per day and for men about 15.5 cups. These estimates, however, include fluids consumed from both foods and beverages, including water.”

Known causes for dehydration can include sweating from exercise and playing a sport; air travel; traversing in overly hot, humid, cold or windy weather conditions; drinking too much coffee, alcohol or other diuretic beverages; and a litany of other relatively commonplace daily activities.

Early or mild dehydration can include: flushed face; extreme thirst; consuming more than normal or the inability to drink; dry, warm skin; the inability to pass urine or reduced amounts (dark, yellow); dizziness made worse when standing; weakness; cramping in the arms and legs; crying with few or no tears; sleepiness or irritableness; sickness; headaches; dry mouth or dry tongue with thick saliva.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) points to a few top-line health advantages of a properly hydrated body, including keeping your temperature normal; lubricating and cushioning joints, protecting your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues; and getting rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements.

A number of evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water are listed at healthline.com including maximizing physical performance; optimized energy levels and mood; and aiding digestion and elimination.

Hydration Awareness

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