Why is hydration so important?
People are always telling us to drink water and to stay hydrated but have you ever stopped and wondered why is hydration so important?
A large percentage of the human body, including the brain and heart, are made up of water. Water being a vital component of the majority of body parts is not the only reason why it is essential that we stay hydrated. It is an essential part of many different processes within the body. Some examples of these include the following:
●Regulates body temperature
●Aids in the formation of saliva, an essential to our digestive system as it helps us break down carbohydrates
●Metabolise and transport carbohydrates and proteins around the body
●Assists with removing toxins and bodily wastes, making the kidneys jobs easier
●Acts like a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord
●Acts as a shock absorber during pregnancy
●Aids in delivering oxygen around the body
●Lubricates the joints
How much water do we actually need?
We are constantly expelling water throughout the day in many different ways; through our breath, perspiration and going to the toilet, so we need to be rehydrating. Almost everyone has heard the 8 glasses a day rule, although a great starting point, this is not necessarily correct for everyone. Like most things, everyone’s requirements are different.
Typically men require more water than women. according to Mayo Clinic men will require around 3.7 L and women 2.7L. This may sound like a lot, but not all of this comes just from drinking water, water is also taken in through the food that we eat and other beverages that we consume. This number will also vary depending on a variety of different factors, some of those include:
●The amount of exercise being done, the more we exercise the more water we need
●Weather – the hotter or more humid it is the more water we are losing so the more hydration we need
●Well being – If we are experiencing fevers, diarrhoea or vomiting it is essential that we tryto increase fluid intake.
How do I know if I have had enough water?
If you are getting enough water then your urine will be light yellow or even colorless and you will not feel as thirsty. The risk of drinking too much water is rare, but it can happen. In that case the kidneys are unable to get rid of the excess water and the sodium in our blood becomes diluted resulting in hyponatremia
Written by: Dr Belicia Ralph – Associate Osteopath
Belicia graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a double bachelor of Health Science and Applied Science (Osteopathy). Since graduating Belicia has also completed qualifications in Dry needling and balanced ligamentous tension. Belicia works at our Brisbane City Clinic