Did you know that for the average adult, 60% of our body weight is water? It’s crazy to think how we are not just puddles of water.
Anyway, I say that number to put some things into perspective. It is crazy to think that nearly two-thirds of your body is basically water. So, imagine how much water you need to drink/eat in order keep yourself adequately hydrated (also known as euhydration). Another thing to put into perspective is this:
For every pound lost during exercise, drink about 2.5 cups of water.
We lose water through:
- feces (poop)
The first three are quite obvious. You can feel yourself losing water. Respiration, on the other hand, we cannot feel. If we are in a cold climate and take a breath, you can see it.
Before I get more into this, let’s define some terms.
Hyperhydration– having more water than is needed
Euhydration– the body is adequately hydrated to perform basic bodily functions
Hypohydration– your body does not have enough water to function properly
Dehydration– the process of becoming hypohydrated
You read correctly. Dehydration is the process of losing water until you reach the state of hypohydration. It’s funny how we use the wrong term for it in our daily lives! Let’s start using the correct terminology.
There is so much about hydration I want to talk about. I guess I should split up the topic into different posts.
In this post, I will talk about:
- Sources of Water
- Effects of Alcohol On Hydration
- What Can Happen When You Are Hypohydrated
Sources of Water
Drinking plain old water is a great way to be in the state of euhydration. However, there is only so much the body can use from drinking plain water.
Did you know that consuming carbohydrates is another way to consume water? Many people forget the hydrate part of the carb. There is water in whole wheat bread, fruits, and vegetables. You won’t believe some of the water content in these foods. Keep that in mind.
Effect of Alcohol On Hydration
Alcohol is not good for hydration. It creates the diuresis effect. Simple point being, you pee out more liquid than you consumed. This is not good, especially if you are an athlete. I will talk more about the effects of alcohol on athletic performance in another post (I just love sports nutrition).
The process of metabolizing alcohol creates a lot of free radicals, especially if one is binge drinking. The kidney tries to filter these out and your cells release water in order to get it out of the body. This also causes your cells to shrink, which makes it hard to function properly.
Effects of Hypohydration
Have you heard the story of the woman who went into coma and died after trying to complete a Spartan Race? It is crazy what being hypohydrated can do to your body. Her state of hypohydration was so severe that it affected her nerve cells and her ability to even walk. Some effects of hypohydration include:
- Thermoregulation being affected. Your body is unable to keep your body at its normal temperature, thus making your cells unable to function properly. Your body is unable to tolerate heat as well as it could if you were in the state of euhydration.
- Heart Failure
- Brain Dysfunction
The last four are severe consequences of being hypohydrated. At that point, an IV is needed in order to get the person back into euhydration. Once your cells are unable to function properly, your bodily functions are affected.
I don’t mean to scare you guys about the consequences of being hypohydrated but it is important to know that being hypo and hyper hydrated have negative consequences. Yes, the last of four consequences are the same for hyperhydration.
I hope this gives you more information on hydration.
Do you guys love drinking water?
Do you think you’re drinking enough water everyday?