Dehydration Part I

Everyone has heard that you need to drink eight glasses of water a day.  Still many Americans deal with issues of dehydration.  Fatigue, energy loss, constipation, gas, bloating, pain, nausea, indigestion, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, obesity, arthritis, cholesterol, and urinary infection all are symptoms related with dehydration.  Dehydrations causes the body to be less efficient without the proper hydration.  A loss of 1% of body weight can decrease the body’s efficiency by 10%.  This amount is lost in one hour of exercise.

The adult body is consisted of 70% water.  On average, an intake of 2.5 L or 88.5 oz replaces the water eliminated from the body every day.  The two charts below describe the average amounts of water we receive from different sources and how the body eliminates the water as well.

Water Absorption

Water from Drinks 1.2 L
Water from Foods 1.0 L
Metabolic Fluid 0.3 L
Total 2.5 L

 

Water Elimination

Urine 1.5 L
Sweat 0.5 L
Through the lungs 0.4 L
Through the intestine 0.1 L
Total 2.5 L

 

There are other factors that dictate how much water one’s body actually needs.  Weight and caloric intake both affect the amount of water one needs.  The chart below describes the average water needs based on weight.

Body Weight Needs

Body Weight (lbs) Water Needs (oz)
80 49
100 61
120 73
140 85
160 98
180 110
190 116
200 122
210 128
220 134

As the chart shows, as weight increases, water needs increase.

The amount of calories someone consumes also affects the amount of water needed to digest food.  The more calories eaten, the more the body needs in order to properly digest the food.  The average American calorie consumption is 3,624 per day. The chart below goes over caloric intake and water consumption.

Calories

Caloric Intake (kcal) Water Needs (L)
2,000 2.0
2,500 2.5
3,000 3.0
3,500 3.5
4,000 4.0

 

There are easy ways someone can increase the amount of water they consume.

Ways to Increase your water intake:

  1. Always have water with you.
  2. Set up a water schedule.
  3. Drink whenever you use the bathroom to replenish the fluid you lost.
  4. Prepare and bring the amounts you want drink.

References:

Vasey, Christopher, ND. “The Water Prescription” Healing Art Press. Vermont.  2006.

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