Our bodies lose water through our normal daily processes. During an average day at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) the average adult loses 2 to 3 liters (70 to 100 ounces) of water. Therefore, the average adult should consume 2 to 3 liters (70 to 100 ounces) of water a day to replenish it.
Other factors (including weight and body fat), heat exposure, cold exposure, intense activity, high altitude, burns, or illnesses, may increase the amount of water needed.
However, some nutritionists insist that 80% of the people are walking around dehydrated. In today's modern-day society we drink too much coffee, tea, and sodas containing caffeine, which prompts the body to lose even more water.
More troubling is the fact that when we are dehydrated, our bodies let us know by the feel of thirst, and we satisfy that thirst for the most part with fluids other than water.
Don't confuse water consumption with fluid consumption. Sodas and coffee are not a substitute for water. In fact, you need to consume even more water if you're drinking sodas and coffee. Caffeine, one of the main components of most sodas, causes increased urine production and acts as a dehydrating agent. That's why you can drink sodas all day, and never feel satisfied.
Coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, artificially flavored soft drinks, and sodas, which are admittedly mostly water, can taste great but contain compounds that are bad for your health and can dehydrate you. And, dehydration is nothing more than a result of inadequately replacing your body-water content.
When you're dehydrated, your blood is literally thicker and your body has to work much harder to cause it to circulate. As a result, the brain becomes less active, it's hard to concentrate, your body feels fatigued, and you just "poop out." Dehydration also decreases our physical and mental efficiency, and if injured, we become a lot more vulnerable to severe shock.
Here are some percentages to consider next time you feel thirsty:
1. A 5% loss of fluids may result in thirst, irritability, nausea, and fatigue.
2. A 10% loss of fluids may result in dizziness, headache, inability to walk, and tingling in the limbs.
3. A 15% loss of fluid results in dim vision, painful urination, swollen tongue, deafness, and a numb sensation of the skin.
4. A loss of greater than 15% may result in death.
The most common signs of dehydration are: dark urine with a strong odor, low urine output, dark sunken eyes, fatigue, emotional instability, loss of skin elasticity, trench line in the center of the tongue, and thirst. Once our bodies crave fluids (thirst) we are already 2% dehydrated. (2% dehydration is nearly 1/7th of the way to deadly fluid loss).
Water is necessary for your body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. It also detoxifies the liver and kidneys, and carries away waste from the body. Every day, the blood in your body passes through your kidneys about 400 times. The kidneys filter (clean) wastes away, and if you are dehydrated, you have no water to carry the waste out of your body, which it gets stored in your body until your body can't take it any more, and you get sick with all kinds of illnesses curable and incurable.
When it comes to digestion, it's just not going to happen without water. Fiber alone cannot aid proper digestive function by itself. In fact, without water as its partner, good fiber goes bad, causing constipation and extreme discomfort. It's therefore no wonder that drinking plenty of water is so vital to our well being.
We all know that we're supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Some of us have even heard the formula: Divide your body weight by two and consume that many ounces of water daily (i.e. If you weigh 200 lbs, divide it by two to reach 100, indicating that you should drink 100 ounces of water daily).
When regularly drinking water, it would: improve your energy; increase your mental and physical performance; remove toxins & waste from your body; keep skin healthy and fresh; reduce headaches and dizziness; allow for proper digestion; and most importantly keep you healthy.
Don't wait until you're thirsty to have a drink - you are already dehydrated if you feel thirsty.
Maybe this information is enough to inspire you to consume plenty of water.
Maybe you'd like to learn more.
This book, "Your Body's Cries for Water" includes detailed descriptions on how your body utilizes water and why it's essential.
It's highly recommended.