Water for your Body

More than 70% of the earth is made up of water and so are our bodies. But have you’ll ever wondered where does that 70 percent water come from.

We are born with it? ( NO) We have to drink it . We only get about 20 % from food that is dry and it can go upto 40% if your diet consists of more fruits and vegetables. There is still a deficit in water intake.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men

About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

Mayo CLinic.org

Having said this, remember it is still a guideline. The daily water intake will differ from person to person depending on various factors like

Body composition- Height, Weight & Total surface area

People with smaller body sizes would require less quantity of water to reach their 70 % versus someone who is tall and broad framed. Women & Obese people display indicators of cellular dehydration, and are more at risk of dehydration1

Exercise levels- Mild, Moderate or Intense

Exercise causes fluid loss which needs to be replaced. Water intake is extremely essential before, during and after exercising. Any Activity or sport that is intense or lasts more than 45 minutes would require electrolyte (Water+Salt) ingestion too.

Osmoregulation & Thermoregulation

Water keeps us cool literally. It helps in regulating temperature. Have you though why large machines having a cooling fan. Water is our cooling fan. One reason why we love showers, fountains mist sprays so much. Every individual differs when it comes to thermo & Osmoregulation. These processes depend heavily on ions, hormones & cellular mechanics of each body.

Environmental Factors

We all have experienced how we sweat heavily in higher temperatures and relatively less in colder climates. Humidity is also one determining factor. Thermoregulatory (temperature regulation) strain increases in the heat when humidity rises, elevating skin temperature causing an increase in skin blood flow and greater circulatory strain.2

SO HOW DO WE DECIDE HOW MUCH WATER IS NEEDED?

FOOD WATER FOR THOUGHT

Its Simple! The easiest possible way is by looking at our urine.

URINE COLOR IS A GOOD INDICATOR FOR HYDRATION

The results of one study suggest that a “change in urine colour by 2 shades can be achieved with a quantifiable change (1100–1300 mL/day) in daily water intake.”

The change in daily water intake and the change in urine colour shades were supported by corresponding changes in urine volume (1.0 L/d) and specific gravity (0.008 units), respectively.

Now one would wonder how does specific gravity of urine help us. In literature ” maintaining a high urine volume with target urine specific gravity of <1.010 is recommended as a cornerstone in the prevention of recurrent kidney stones” 3

A lot of us, inspite of knowing these basic facts,we forget to drink enough water

This not only effects the Kidneys, but total body function. Decreased water intake would lead to decreased blood volume .Blood volume is necessary to maintain adequate perfusion to all of the tissues in the body. Nearly all cells in the body require replenishment of nutrients and a removal system for waste, both of which the blood provides

Still wonder why you feel achy tired or lethargic at the end of the day or sometimes even in the morning?

We put our body through various tasks throughtout the day. All that wear & tear needs repair, which usually happens at the end of the day. Decreased perfusion to the cells impair the repair process. BINGO!

Joints , muscles, nerves, fascia everthing at its cellular level needs water to function.

De-hydrated individuals are more susceptible to joint wear & tear- arthritis, muscle strains & tears, nerve issues like sciatica or tingling & numbness. Slow Cognition, decreased alertness, lethargy can all happen due to decreased water input.

So monitoring your Urine, slowly and steadily increase your fluid intake upto at least 2.5 litres to 3.5 litres. Feel the change in the way your body functions. You might feel more energetic, lively with softer pliable skin.

Donot start chugging down litres of water as yet. there is a way to do that.

Sipping water at intervals while sitting helps your intestines absorb water efficiently and decreases the load on the kidneys. When we drink a lot of water in one go, it doesn’t get absorbed in the system, the kidneys have to work to eliminate that water. And you have to pee frequently.

NOW, SOMETIMES THESE GUIDELINES MIGHT NOT WORK FOR YOU.

HENCE BEING AWARE OF HOW YOU FEEL WITH YOUR WATER INTAKE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

Basically you should feel good and soon you’ll find your sweetspot with fluid intake. And if you still are unable to judge the amount of fluid needed for hydration. contact me or get an expert opinion!

Although one thing to take care of in Elderly!!!

Renal function diminishes as you age beyond 75 years, more or less depending on your fitness level & body composition. Hence Urine color or volume might not be a good indicator of hydration in such people. Elderly also tend to have diminished sense of thirst combined with forgetfullness increases their risk of dehydration.

A recent study by Fortes et al. reported that in a sample of patients with a mean age of 79 years, neither urine colour nor specific gravity was able to accurately distinguish euhydrated and dehydrated patients. 3

Stay Aware, Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated!

P.S. All the conditions mentioned above can also happen due to other reasons like nutritional deficiences, hormonal imbalances. If you have other co-morbidities like High blood pressure, Diabetes or Throid Issues, you would need an individual consult. Increasing the water intake beyond what your body can tolerate can lead to hyponatremia symptoms: lethargy, confusion.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2008.07.010
  2. DOI :10.1080/23328940.2016.1182669
  3. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-015-1010-2

Published by hemaliphysio

Ortho & Sports Physio, The Movement Analyst

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