Hydration Nation: Why Hydration is Important for Everyone June 20 2014, 0 Comments
When you consider that water makes up a whopping 70% of our bodyweight, the need to stay hydrated should never be taken lightly. From runners and weightlifters to landscapers and hikers, anyone with any sort of outdoor or active lifestyle needs to stay hydrated in order to perform. Even for the desk jockey, staying perky and alert at work means staying hydrated.
What is Dehydration?
In a nutshell, dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in. We lose water in a variety of ways, from perspiring when exercising to urination and digestive illnesses, such as vomiting and diarrhea. When we lose water, we also lose the electrolytes that are essential to proper brain, muscle, and organ function.
Dehydration occurs in three stages based on severity. Most cases of dehydration are mild, and can be reversed with a slow intake of a fluid rich in electrolytes. Unfortunately, more common cases of dehydration can be tough to notice when you’re in the throes of action. So to help you know when to take a gulp of water, we’ve listed the most common symptoms of dehydration to look out for.
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid heartbeats
When Is Medical Attention Needed?
More severe cases of dehydration can occur when dehydration is left untreated. In rare instances, severe dehydration can even lead to death. The good news is that severe dehydration is easier to notice than mild and moderate dehydration, but unfortunately, can easily be confused with other illnesses. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:
- Sunken eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Consistent diarrhea or vomiting
- Several hours since last urination
Does Alcohol Cause Dehydration?
Absolutely. Ever wake up after a night of drinking with a Charlie horse in your calf? The reason is because you’re dehydrated.
Alcohol is known as a diuretic, defined by Livestrong.com as a “substance that results in the body producing an increased amount of urine.” In essence, our bodies have a system that regulates how much urine we produce, in order to keep us sufficiently hydrated.
When we consume alcohol, the system is deceived into producing nearly twice the amount of urine that we normally produce when sober. As a result, the body expels more water than it takes in, resulting in dehydration.
Even if you chase your drinks with a glass of water, your body will still expel that extra water. The best way to rehydrate on a night of drinking is to stop drinking alcohol.
Strategies for Staying Hydrated
The general rule of thumb for water intake is 6-8 8oz. cups of water a day. However, those who perform activities that result in excessive perspiration should always increase their water intake. Be sure to avoid sugary drinks, like soda and iced tea, and stick with good old H2O.
You can also stay hydrated with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, like oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and spinach. Before an intense workout or run, eat a salad with the above ingredients. When you get in, scarf down a little bit of watermelon, strawberries, or cantaloupe. Remember, fruits are loaded with sugar, so be sure to consume them in moderation.
While you’re out and about, be sure to keep a readily available supply of water on hand. Even if you’re on your way to the office, it never hurts to keep a bottle of water in your purse or shoulder bag. If you’re exercising or working outside, the need for a readily available supply of water is ever more important, as the body is constantly flushing out water as a means of cooling down.
Staying hydrated can be a tricky affair if you’re the outdoors type, but with the HydraQuiver Double Barrel hydration pack from Orange Mud, staying hydrated is a breeze. Like a backpack for water bottles, this handy hydration pack is worn between your shoulder blades, designed to give you easy access to water on the fly.
Featuring two big 24oz. water bottles and padded arm sleeves, the HydraQuiver keeps you hydrated and comfortable even on the longest hauls. It even has a slew of zippered pockets for all of your small valuables.
If you have any questions or comments about the HydraQuiver or staying hydrated, feel free to post in the provided space below. Stay hydrated! _