What is Hydration & Why is it Important?

Roughly 60% of the body consists of water and about 71% of the atmosphere of the earth is saturated with water. Water is so instrumental for our survival. Yet a lot of us do not know what is hydration and its implications in the context of the human body. So hydration might mean slightly different things in different contexts. But in this blog, we will mainly talk about what is hydration in the context of the human body, not chemistry.

Perhaps the omnipresent presence of water means that each day, plenty to drink. And hence it is not one of the highest priorities for many citizens. The avoidance of dehydration was a big cause for the survival of primordial animals from the oceans. Hydration and dehydration are a few concepts that everyone should be aware of for the sake of their health.

Benefits of Hydration:

Some hydrations facts and reasons to drink an appropriate amount of water are shared below

  1. The cartilage of the joint is lubricated (It contains about 80% water, present in knees and spinal discs. Long-term dehydration may reduce the ability of the joints to absorb shock, causing joint pain.)
  2. Water provides oxygen to the entire body (Blood is almost 90% water, and blood supplies oxygen to all areas of the body.)
  3. It improves the wellbeing and attractiveness of the skin. Dehydration can make the skin more sensitive to skin problems and premature wrinkle.
  4. Brain structure and function also suffer in case of persistent dehydration. Hydration aids hormone and neurotransmitter development. Long-term dehydration may contribute to thought and reasoning issues.
  5. It also plays role in adjusting body temperature. As the body heats up, moisture comes to the surface of the skin in the middle layers skin. It cools the body as it evaporates.
  6. It helps maintain blood pressure as well. Lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
  7. Kidney injury prevention: Kidneys control body fluid. Dehydration can lead to kidney stones and other issues.
  8. Water also leads to weight loss if eaten rather than sodas or sweetened juices. Preloading with water can help avoid overfeeding. Water comes from food as well not just hydration drinks.

Some Glossary Related to Water:

 

Metabolic water During food metabolism, this type of water is formed.
Potable water Water safe for human use, free from contaminants and significant toxins containing <50 mg of nitrates/L, without the need for harmful mineral material, whether supplied from groundwater or deep aquifers.
Calorically sweetened beverages Any caloric sweetening soda, whether carbonated or non-carbonated, fruit punch, fruit juices, lemonade, sweetened powder drinks or other non-artificially sweetened beverages. Sugars already found in fluids and not applied to the preparation, refining or table are exempt from this description.
Soft drinks Caloric sweeteners and sweeteners in non-alcohol or non-carbonated drinks.
Fruit drinks Tiny proportion of calorie drinks containing flavoured water and aromas containing a small amount of fruit juice or juice.

How Caffeine and Hydration are Interlinked?

Although plain water is the safest way to keep hydrated, other food and beverages also help. The sum of water per day comes from adding fruit and vegetable juices, milk or grassy teas. Even caffeine beverages (e.g. coffee, tea and soda) help the everyday consumption of water. Many of the population do not feel moderate caffeine (400 milligrammes). However, caffeinated beverages are better limited. Be aware of what you drink. Some options will add more sugar calories to your diet.

What Do the Experts Say on Hydration?

Experts suggest drinking average 11 cups  of water for women and 16 cups for men in a day. And these cups must not always come from pure water, and some of them can come from fruit or vegetable flavoured water (lemons, fruit berries, or orange slices) or from coffee or tea. Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said it is easier to stay away from sugar-sulfurized drinks while attempting to remain hydrated.

What is the Fluid balance of the Two compartments?

It is important to maintain a constant water and mineral balance in the body. For the same sensitive detectors at various locations in the body are coordinated with inclusive brain centres which process this information through the neural pathways. These centres are also responsive to diuresis and blood pressure. In addition to the above-mentioned some nerves hold orders from these centres to “executive bodies” and the brain portion responsible for corrections, such as drinking.

Hydration and Chronic Diseases?

Some chronic illnesses and dehydration might share a connection. Lifestyle and environmental variations are considered to be risk factors and it is currently being tested. Water is the most essential nutrient in terms of quantity. In the past, the scientific focus has been focused on the extremes of dehydration and water toxicity, particularly with regard to water metabolism. There is evidence that moderate dehydration can also affect certain diseases. There is no agreement currently on a “gold standard,” particularly for mild dehydration, for hydration markers.

There is strong evidence that the likelihood of urolithiasis is minimized by proper hydration. Less effective signs link good hydration to lower constipation frequency, exercise asthma, child hypertonic dehydration, and diabetic ketoacidosis with hyperglycemia. A drop in the inflammation of the urinary tract, hypertension, deaths of heart disease, venous thromboembolism or cerebral infarction is linked with healthy hydration although these all have to be checked by clinical tests. Evidence of the protective benefit of holding proper hydration is not consistent with bladder or colon cancer.

Water is very crucial to our survival. By depicting its critical role, it generates hope that the focus on water pertaining to human health will sharpen.

Read our blog on Antibiotics in Poultry and their implication on human health.