Causes, signs and symptoms, how to choose water and how much should you drink.

Water issue has always been a subject to contest. How much should we drink, from what sources, is the tap water good enough to drink – all these are disputed for years. The only thing that is commonly agreed is: water is essential for us to live.

An optimal hydration level will keep you healthy and would get away a lot of symptoms and conditions.

You may not feel it but you may be dehydrated without knowing it. You think you’re drinking a lot of water that’s why you can’t and you shouldn’t be dehydrated. But it’s not always that way. Drinking a lot of water doesn’t mean you drink it right. It may sound absurd but the water intake and the ways you drink it along with the quality of water is very important and have a strong correlation. How much water to drink?
It’s very difficult to say how much water one should drink but there are several formulas to calculate mass index and the amount of water a person should drink. Your lbs. mass index should be divided by 2; the number obtained will be the amount of water in ounces you should drink. But that’s just one formula. You should drink when you feel thirsty or even before that. You’ll ask how to drink without being thirsty but you’ll just anticipate the dehydration for example after exercising, in heat or in stressful situations.

How to drink water?
When you’re thirsty you drink in a lot of water but it isn’t the right way to drink especially when you’re thirsty. Sip water slowly; that would be the best way to stay hydrated. If you drink it at a draught it would exit the body as quickly as it was drunk. Sipping it slowly allows water to reach the cells where it is needed. It’s also advisable to drink small amounts of water with your meal. Not before meal because it flushes the gastric juices away and not after meal because it impedes the right food processing.

What water to choose?
It’s advisable whatever water you choose it should respect some simple norms:
•    it should be clear
•    it should be clean
•    it should be drinkable
You decide if tap water is drinkable or not but for you own safety it’s sometimes advisable to use water filters. Bottled water is good but I usually avoid buying it because of the plastic jars that usually aren’t Bisphenol A (BPA) free.

Causes of dehydration:
•    alcohol drinking
•    drinking sodas instead of water
•    too much caffeinated drinks
•    coffee
•    diarrhoea
•    vomiting

Types of dehydration:
Dehydration can be of 2 types:
1.    Light or middle dehydration is when body loses 3-5% of water and usually proceeds without symptoms or it may have vague signs like feeling thirsty or having a dry mouth.
2.    Severe dehydration occurs when body loses approximate 10% of water needed and it may have serious consequences including death.

Dehydration and stress
Stress is a factor risk (  for dehydration and like a math formula it’s vice versa available: dehydration can be a factor for stress development. When stressed, if you’re dehydrated your body can’t recover its energy because it’s too busy trying to compensate the lack of water.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration
• Dark urine (should be pale yellow)
• Inability to concentrate
• Dry mouth
• Dizziness and Nausea
• Confusion
• Light headaches

Who has more inclination to dehydration?
More affected by dehydration are infants and small children especially in gastrointestinal illnesses periods.
Another category is seniors who may gradually lose the ability to recognize when they’re thirsty.
People who proceed through a long period of stress are also more disposed to dehydrate their bodies.

How to avoid dehydration:
•    In warm weather especially in heat, drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty
•    Carry a bottle of water with you and make sure your child is carrying one too
•    Avoid drinking too much alcohol, coffee and sodas
•    Drink water before and after exercising
•    When feeling stressed drink water. That would literally help flush away your stress.

What does affect dehydration?
•    affects thinking capacity
•    causes constipation
•    causes headaches and nausea
•    interferes with body’s natural mechanisms of fighting with stress

Good quality water can offer your body a lot of benefits one of the greatest being a strong defence against stress. So drink more water because it’s the easiest way to manage your stress ( With a well hydrated body you’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy and your skin will also look better.