May 23, 2024

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The Science Behind Hydration – More Than Just Drinking Water

3 min read

As our bodies contain up to 60% water, maintaining an ideal fluid balance is critical for organ health and optimal blood flow. Furthermore, lubricating joints reduces fatigue and increases cognitive clarity – all hallmarks of good health!

Just sipping water alone might not always meet your hydration needs effectively. Here’s why.

Electrolytes

Dehydration often leads to thirst. Electrolytes include minerals (like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride ) found dissolved within body fluids that help balance chemical reactions while also helping balance pH levels in cells and their surrounding environment.

Electrolytes play an integral role in transmitting nerve signals that regulate muscle contraction and other bodily processes, so consuming enough electrolytes alongside water for maximum performance is critical.

Many people use urine color to measure their hydration status; however, urine color alone cannot provide an accurate representation as its hue largely results from blood’s attempts at maintaining an appropriate balance between water and salt in your system.

To determine your hydration levels accurately, the best way is through a urine analysis test administered by a health care professional or purchased at a sporting goods store. As a rule of thumb, each day half your body weight in ounces should be consumed to remain adequately hydrated.

Minerals

As their name suggests, minerals are natural inorganic substances found in nature that do not contain organic elements such as plants or microorganisms (wood or pearls). Furthermore, minerals must remain solid at standard temperatures and pressures.

Proper hydration can improve cognitive function, physical performance and resilience to illness. Hydration also aids healing and wound-repair processes while diminishing wrinkles to keep skin firm and plump. Furthermore, proper hydration strengthens immunity by flushing away germs from the body – strengthening both cognitive ability and resilience against illness!

Though water remains the ideal beverage for hydration, other beverages like coffee and juice can also provide essential hydration if consumed in moderation. Some drinks may provide better hydration than others due to added sugars, electrolytes and nutrients which could be detrimental to one’s health; excessive fluid consumption can cause diarrhea as well as other digestive distresses if too much fluids are taken at one time; electrolyte beverages designed to speed absorption are frequently employed against such illnesses as Ebola, Cholera and Giardia.

Fats

Fat is used by our bodies to hydrate cells and transport nutrients, minerals, and electrolytes throughout our bodies. Furthermore, fat helps control appetite while simultaneously improving metabolism and fat burning.

Although many factors contribute to fluid intake, animal studies indicate that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day remains popular advice. Water helps the kidneys filter toxins out, softens hardened stool and increase lipolysis (the process by which the body breaks down fat into energy).

However, beverages like fruit juices and soda do not possess the same hydrating benefits as plain water; their longer digestive process and slower emptying leave your stomach without being fully hydrated. Furthermore, many high sugar beverages require your body to use water just to dilute all that glucose! To make sure you reap maximum benefit from drinking such beverages early on each day. To avoid dehydration: drink low-sugar beverages first thing!

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our bodies’ primary source of energy, with water serving as their fuel. Carbs also supply glucose to the brain, help prevent protein breakdown and enable fat metabolism – as reported by UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

The NHS states that mild dehydration can wreak havoc with your mood and cognitive performance, leading to headaches in some people. Drinking excessive water may also result in bloating and diarrhea.

Studies demonstrate that drinking beyond thirst has numerous health benefits for healthy individuals, including improved alertness and mental function. Furthermore, this strategy may help protect some from dehydration, such as those at risk due to chronic kidney disease, diabetes or urinary tract infection/glycerolemia as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Hydration is key for all populations and can be improved through cutting back on sugary, sodium-laden beverages and caffeinated drinks. A diet rich in whole foods such as fruits and vegetables also plays a significant role in keeping individuals hydrated.

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