The real reason for hydration in the body
The signs of dehydration differ by age group. Infants and young children may not be able to recognize their need for fluids, so it's critical to provide frequent fluid intake and keep an eye out for symptoms of dehydration: irritability or lethargy, no tears when crying, no wet diapers for as little as three hours, a dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes and cheeks, and a shrinking of the soft spot on top of head.
At Elate we firmly believe the role of what we eat and drink in our physical and mental well-being. In this article, our experts have given reasons for keeping our body hydrated.
Adults show many different signs of dehydration, including fatigue, dizziness, confusion, less-frequent urination and extreme thirst, but the latter has one exception: the elderly. Older adults may not feel thirsty but can still be dehydrated.
That's why one of the best ways to tell whether you're lacking fluids is by the colour of your urine. A darker shade represents that your body is dehydrated. However, a shade more towards yellow will say that your body is well hydrated.
A sudden and extreme episode of diarrhoea or vomiting can remove a large number of fluids in a short amount of time. Add a high fever, and you could be in trouble quickly. Upping fluid intake is critical. Sweating due to hot, humid conditions or extreme physical activity is another sure way to become quickly dehydrated.
Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
Experts recommend drinking roughly 11 cups of water per day for the average woman and 16 for men. And not all of those cups have to come from plain water; for example, some can come from water flavoured with fruit or vegetables (lemons, berries, or orange or cucumber slices), or from coffee or tea.
The vast majority of your daily fluid intake should come from water. In this illustration, a person on a 2,200-calorie diet would drink about 50 fluid ounces of water a day, which is just over 6 cups (1.4 litres). Another 3.5 cups or just over 800 millilitres, could come from coffee or tea.
There are health benefits to coffee. Studies show it can help with diabetes and has some modest cardiovascular benefits. It's a mild antidepressant. In fact, studies show about a 50% lower risk of suicide with three to four cups of coffee a day.
Tea has about a third the amount of caffeine as coffee, so you're much less likely to have sleep problems, but we don't see as many health benefits for tea as coffee.
The next choice in the fluid pyramid is skim milk, also sold as 1% milk, as well as soy or other unsweetened alternatives such as almond milk. For adults who wish to add that beverage to their diet, the maximum amount per day would be two cups (almost 500 millilitres).
Milk is really complicated area because it comes along with saturated fat and even low-fat milk is high in calories. Up to two servings a day is fine but going beyond that is excessive.
Fruit juices are cautionary because they contain about the same amount of sugar as soda. Orange juice has nutritional value, apple juice much less, so we recommend choosing orange over apple juice.
Alcoholic beverages are complicated. There are definite protective health benefits against heart disease for both sexes, but for women, even a half a drink a day can raise the risk of breast cancer.
The last category is reserved for sugar- or high fructose corn syrup sweetened beverages such as regular soda, lemonade and fruit drinks. They provide no nutritional value and plenty of calories.
The most important message is the source of hydration. Beverages can cause real harm. People are not dying of dehydration, so choosing beverages other than water and other healthy sources has major health implications.