The Importance of Hydration

Water can be found in almost every part of the body, from our blood to our bones. It is said that a healthy bone contains about 31% water. Every biochemical process that helps in the smooth functioning of the body requires water. However, the water in our bodies is also finite and is lost as the day goes on. This is where hydration comes into play.

Water comes into the body mostly from the fluids we drink. The food we consume also contributes to our hydration albeit to a significantly smaller degree. Drinks like coffee and tea as well as soft drinks are also sources of water. However, the universally accepted “best” way to get water into your system is to drink plain water.  Generally, a daily recommendation for water intake is 2 litres, although this changes based on environmental factors.

Dehydration can be caused not only by not drinking enough water but also by other reasons such as diarrhea or vomiting. In the former case, some common signs of dehydration would be fatigue, lightheadedness, trouble focusing, headaches or dry skin. You can also tell if you need to increase your water intake by the colour of your urine. Ideally, your urine should be a pale yellow colour. The darker it is the more apparent it is that you need to drink more water. This leads us to methods one can use to get yourself to hydrate more.

Two important things to consider here are that you make sure you’re getting water from a healthy source and to make sure that you remember to drink enough. 

Having external systems to remind you to drink more water is a powerful way to get more of it. One effective way is to keep a bottle of water in your immediate vicinity. Having a bottle of water in front of you is a subconscious trigger to take a sip out of it every now and then. Moreover, having a bottle you know the capacity of is an effective way to track your water intake. Another way to make sure that water becomes your drink of choice is to figure out ways to make access to other drinks harder. This makes plain water the path of least resistance and the go-to drink when you’re thirsty. If you’d still rather walk down to the store and buy a soft drink to quench your thirst, you could also flavour your plain water to make it a bit more interesting.

It was never an accident that civilizations over the centuries have always been formed around water bodies.  Water makes up a majority of the bodyweight and performs many important functions to keep the body functioning optimally. However, it doesn’t get there on its own and losing too much of it could be fatal. It takes a deliberate effort to make sure that we get enough water daily.

-Sridhar Iyer


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