Are You Drinking Enough Water?

MOST OF US understand that hydration is crucial for our health. This has been proven through dozens of independent studies, showing at even mild levels of dehydration our physical and emotional abilities can be significantly affected. In fact, the functionality of our body and our cognitive ability and our mood are hindered to an alarming degree if our body’s total water content drops by as little as 1%.

In light of this you may find it surprising that across the world, at all stages of life, most live in a status quo of dehydration. This is seen across all ages from childhood through to becoming a senior citizen. Not only does this stop our body and our mind performing to the best it can, for those of an older age this can have more serious health implications.

Two obvious questions arise when you consider the extent of this problem. Firstly, why? Why are we not drinking enough water across all stages of our life? When you review research that has been carried out across the USA and Europe you begin to understand that there are valid and natural reasons why this is the case. Secondly, and the more important question is, What? What can we do to help people of all ages drink more water?

THE AVERAGE Australian only drinks 1.29l of water per day which is well below the 2.5 (for males) and 2.0 (for females) that is recommended by most leading health organizations.

One of biggest reasons behind this under consumption is that the human body can become dehydrated more quickly than most people think. It takes only a 2% loss of total water content for your body to start feeling thirsty. Once you’re at this point your body is already in a state of dehydration, increasing the likelihood of experiencing a variety of symptoms that have been scientifically linked to how hydrated you are, such as:

Symptoms related to dehydration are broad and can vary significantly based on what stage you are in your life. All these issues are easily solved by doing one simple thing, drinking more water. In fact, the British Nutrition Foundation clearly states that regular H2O is the best thing to drink to keep yourself hydrated whether you’re young, middle aged or elderly. It’s worth emphasising this fact, as although all liquids will hydrate the human body, some do a much better job than others. Water and fruit juices, for instance, hydrate more effectively than milk and soda drinks.

Keeping a high body water content can help you better regulate your body temperature and keep yourself cool so that you don’t overheat. Dehydration in hot temperatures can cause heat exhaustion which may result in headaches, nausea and heatstroke. Drinking the right levels of water can even help reduce obesity. A study carried out at Michigan Medical School, USA, has shown that there may be a correlation between being dehydrated and having higher body mass index (BMI) levels. This becomes less surprising when you consider that drinking water has been proven to reduce hunger and also temporarily improve your metabolism by 24-30%.

If you can get into a habit of staying hydrated as an adult you’re far more likely to stick to this as you get older. This is especially important, because when you’re elderly staying hydrated can sometimes mean life or death.