Healthy Eating and Exercise

Hydration Is the Key to Good Health

It’s not an exaggeration to say, “water is life.” Our bodies are two-thirds water, and it’s essential to maintain that level of hydration.

Drinking enough water each day delivers nutrients to cells, keeps joints lubricated, helps organs function properly, prevents infections, and regulates body temperature. It also helps us sleep better, think better, and improves our mood.

It’s been recommended that women drink around 11 cups of water a day and men drink 16. They don’t all have to be plain water. You can flavor it with a squeeze of orange, lime, lemon, or cucumber. Coffee and tea without cream and sugar works as well. Just make sure you’re not trying to hydrate with alcohol or sugary soft drinks. Those are worse for us.

Why Hydration Matters

Not drinking enough water can lead to multiple problems. These include:

Dehydration Risks

Everyone needs to have plenty of fluid, but anyone can get dehydrated. Some people are at greater risk of dehydration than others. They include:

  • Babies and infants — Their low body weight makes them very sensitive to any fluid loss.
  • Seniors — They don’t realize they are becoming dehydrated so they must constantly drink water.
  • People with chronic illnesses — Some long-term illnesses like diabetes and alcoholism tend to dehydrate the patient.
  • Athletes — They lose excessive amounts of fluid through sweat and sometimes forget to hydrate enough to recover.

Signs of Dehydration

There are physical and visual signs to let you know it is time to fuel up with some water. The visual sign is the color of your urine. Healthy urine should be clear to pale yellow. It should also be odorless. The darker it is and the stronger the smell, the more likely you need to hydrate.

Physical symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Pain when urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Thirst

It can become serious if you don’t drink water following the warning signs. If it becomes severe and a medical emergency, symptoms will include:

  • Failure to urinate for up to eight hours
  • Lethargy
  • Low level of consciousness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Weak pulse
  • Seizures

It can become life threatening, especially in older people.

We’re Here for You

AltaMed can help you answer questions about taking care of yourself and the best things to put in your body. Our registered dieticians can develop personalized meal plans that will create better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle. This service is open to patients of all ages. Call (888) 499-9303 to get started.

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Hydration Is the Key to Good Health