How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?
Dehydration Has Serious Downsides
Extra, Extra! Read all about it! Its in the news and on popular health and weight loss websites: Water is essential to total health and wellness. But what happens if the body doesn’t get enough water? Check out this step-by-step breakdown of the process involved with dehydration and some chilling news about water intake in American Children.
Special Edition: Dehydration Is A Desert
A popular reference regarding dehydration is “Thirst in the Desert”, a piece published in the late 1800s by W.J. McGee who, accompanied by scientists and without normal provisions, got lost in the Arizona Territory. McGee reported experiencing the following symptoms as severe dehydration took place.
First, McGee and his associates experienced a dry mouth and the sensation of thirst. Rapid breathing and increased heart rate were noted in some. After losing 5-10% of their body water, sunken eyes and a loss of skin turgor (the skin’s ability to snap back into place when pinched) were apparent. The loss of more than 10% of water in the body has, of course extreme consequences, leading to organ failure and eventually even death.
Now, these are some extreme circumstances, and the average person isn’t walking around on the verge of death. However, most people are generally dehydrated on a day to day basis. Very few of us actually consume the amount of water that our bodies regularly need.
Extra Addition: Who Drinks Enough Water?
While most of us have regular access to water and fluids throughout the day, many of us are still at risk of dehydration. CNN reported recently that one in four American children is at risk of inadequate hydration, with younger boys being especially susceptible. The article cited a nationwide study which found that over half of children and teenagers may not be properly hydrated. While experts recommend that kids older than nine drink at least 7 cups of water each day, about 25% of subjects drank almost none.
The problem is not limited to children. CBS reported that up to 75% of Americans “may be functioning in a chronic state of dehydration”.
The Administrative Dietician at Boston College claims in an August 2016 headline that “Two-Thirds of American’s Don’t Drink Enough”. In the U.S., our fast paced lifestyle and tendency to hit up the drive-thru just might be to blame for an overall lack of wellness. Settling for a small soda on-the-go just doesn’t do the job when it comes to adequate hydration, and putting off a water break can have formidable consequences. In fact, there are a number of symptoms associated with insufficient water intake, and you’re probably experiencing some of them right now.
Reports have noted that consistent mild dehydration could be the cause of a number of health issues including; bad breath, dry skin, muscle cramps, fever and chills, food cravings and headaches. Eat This, Not That claims that “skimping on water” could also result in water weight, loss in energy and focus, risk of stroke, mood swings, false hunger, lowered metabolism, poor workout performance, bowel trouble, poor kidney function and more.
Water Is The Cure
Luckily mild to moderate dehydration has a simple cure: drink. more. water. Drinking water consistently is the key. But how much is the right amount? The Institute of Medicine suggests that adults drink between 9 and 13 cups per day, depending on weight, height, and climate. Aim for 4 cups for your toddler, 5 cups for ages 4-9, and 7 cups for older kids.
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