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  • Writer's pictureDevavrat Harshe

Water: are you drinking enough of it?


Lifestyle and related disorders have come into a focus recently. Apart from seeking treatments for those disorders, a vital step in tackling those is making certain lifestyle changes. When it comes to lifestyle related changes, a lot of focus is attributed to diet, exercise and sleep, although a key ingredient required for maintaining optimal health is often ignored, i.e.water.

What is seen in routine practice and life is the misconception that people believe water to be useful only for quenching thirst. This often creates a routine where people drink water only after meals,or after feeling thirsty. This although serves short term needs of the body, but may create problems especially in summer which is particularly distressing in tropical countries and coastal areas.


Water is as essential as food, in fact, surviving without food is possible for a few days, however surviving without water even for a day, is extremely distressing and unpleasant.


It is worth noting that, water makes for about 70 percent of our body matter. It is the key component of most of our body fluids, it makes up the majority of volume of blood, and it even is found in substantial proportions in coverings and linings protecting vital organs such as the brain and kidneys. A depletion of water from body therefore, creates an attritional damage on most functions of the body. The ones which affect our day to day life and can affect survival are, 1) Temperature regulation, 2) Water balance, 3) Electrolyte balance, 4) Digestion


Reduced water intake can precipitate signs of dehydration, especially in those individuals who work hard labour, are constantly exposed to sunlight or humidity, and in those who are taking medications to take care of their kidney relates disorders.


Common signs of dehydration:

  1. Fatigue

  2. Tiredness

  3. Decreased urine output

  4. Altered electrolyte balance

  5. Affected urine output

  6. Reduced muscle mass

  7. Affected heart rates and rhythms

  8. Affected electrolyte balance causing cognitive problems and delirium.


Steps to avoid dehydration.

1) Keep water a dietary staple: Include food items rich in water in your daily diet, such as: milk, curd, buttermilk, lemon-juice, sherbats, fresh fruit juices etc.

2) Set a water target: set a target for number of glasses of water to be consumed everyday. For an average Indian, that number goes in the range of around 10-15 glasses everyday, depending on body weight, general health and weather conditions.

3) plan your day: make sure you replenish water by drinking enough of it after vigorous physical exercise, hard labour or even streneous mental activity.


Summary:

Water literally is life. Everything around us has abundance of water. It is needed for vital functions of the body to keep operating optimally. So, are you drinking enough water?

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