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Water - Quick Facts

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Dehydration Symptoms, Causes of Dehydration & Treatment for Dehydration
  1. How much water should you drink each day to avoid dehydration symptoms?
  2. What are the Causes of Dehydration?
  3. What is the Treatment For Dehydration?
Causes of Dehydration
Our water needs to prevent dehydration symptoms depend on several factors:
  • Our health
  • How active we are
  • Where we live.
During our normal daily routine we lose water through our breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For the body to function properly and to prevent dehydration symptoms, we must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
 
Preventing Dehydration Symptoms
Factors that influence water needs-
  • Exercise
  • During intense exercise
  • Environment.
  • Illnesses or health conditions
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out basic bodily functions.
 
Dehydration Symptoms
  • Craving for water - Mild to excessive thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle weakness
As we age our body is less able to sense dehydration symptoms and send signals of thirst to the brain. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the above.
 
Treatment for Dehydration

Important Tips:

To ward off dehydration symptoms
  • Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal
  • Hydrate before, during and after exercise
  • Substitute alcoholic beverages with sparkling waters or spritzers at social gatherings
Water is critical for good health, yet individual needs vary. Knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water / fluids to drink each day, to sustain healthy bodily function
 
Water makes up about 60 percent of your bodily weight. Every system in your body depends on water to function effectively –
  • It flushes toxins out of our vital organs
  • Carries nutrients to our cells
  • Provides a moist environment for the ear, nose and throat tissues
Drinking less water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain energy and make you feel lethargic.
 
Causes of Dehydration & Treatment for Dehydration

How does the body replace water?

  • The urine output on average for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) per day. Additional we lose a liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. 20 percent of your total fluid intake comes from food, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other fluids a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
  • Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, or "drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total.
  • The Institute of Medicine dietary recommendations are that men should approximately consume 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
  • If you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is adequate.
 
Treatment for Dehydration

Tips on reminding yourself to drink water:

  • Keep a glass and water on your desk. If you see it, you will drink it, simple. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Flavor plain water with herbs, cumin / jeera, fresh mint to improve intake.
  • Drink up a glass as soon as you wake up, it hydrates your night-parched body.
  • Meal times is a great time to waterize your body, as you are focused on eating, keep the water glass filled up and ready to go.
  • Quench your thirst with fluids like coconut water, butter milk, lime juice, fresh vegetable/fruit juices that contain plenty of water like cucumber, tomato, pumpkin, watermelon, squashes, aam panna, bottle gourd, and mint. They are loaded with plenty of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants.
 
Treatment for Dehydration
Factors that influence water needs
  • Exercise: If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. During intense exercise, it's best to hydrate with a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening.
  • Environment: Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. When traveling or if you live in altitudes greater than 8,200 feet you may use up more of your fluid reserves, so compensate with more fluids.
  • Illnesses or health disorders: When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids which must be replenished as soon as possible with water or fresh salted lemonade or better yet oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade. In case you develop bladder infections or urinary tract stones fluid intake must be increased. Adversely, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may prevent normal excretion of water and may require you to limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or lactating: Women who are expecting or lactating need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink approx 10 cups of fluids daily and women who are lactating drink about 13 cups of fluids a day.
 
Treatment for Dehydration
Sources of water / fluids from fruits, vegetables and more…
Did you know that the food you eat also provides you with a significant portion of your daily fluid needs. On average, the food we consume in a day provides about 20 percent of total water intake. The remaining 80 percent comes from water and fluid / beverages of all kinds.
 
Fruits and vegetables, e.g. watermelon, tomatoes and lettuce, are 90 percent to 100 percent water by weight. Milk and fruit juices are also composed predominantly of water. But, ultimately water is best because it's so readily available.
 
Hyponatremia
Over-hydration
Occasionally, but infrequently, athletes find themselves in a situation where they have consumed too much water and their kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, resulting in the bloods electrolyte (mineral) levels to get diluted, causing low sodium levels in the bloodstream. This condition is called hyponatremia and must be avoided.
 
If you need help in calculating your fluid intake, check with one of our NutritionVista dietitians. She can help you determine the amount of water that's best for you to prevent your experiencing dehydration symptoms.
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