We have always been told to drink water and the importance of drinking water but we really do not know what would happen to our body if we did not drink water. The term hydration is emphasized as well as dehydration. However, do we know what dehydration actually means or what will happen to our bodies if we do not have any water inside of it, there could be so many different meanings behind the word “dehydration”. Water loss dehydration is one of the two types of dehydration also known as hyperosmolar and occurs either because of increased sodium or glucose. It is said that dehydration is rarely due to neglect from formal or informal care givers, but rather results from a combination of physiological and disease processes (Thomas,292-301). The other type of dehydration is referred to as salt and water loss dehydration or hyponatremia.
Dehydration has always been thought of as an unpleasant occurrence that individuals experience. There are hydration tests that athletes take part in because of how bad dehydration is for them specifically. Dehydration reduces athletic performance and also puts athletes at risk for bad injuries and sometimes even death. For athletes, specifically it is crucial to stay hydrated because it will affect their performance tremendously. Monitoring hydration has significant value in maximizing performance during training and competition (Oppliger, 959-971). We know that drinking water is key for athletes because it affects how they play and without hydration could cause injuries but have we ever wondered what water is doing that causes our bodies to need it so badly. Dehydration can occur before exercise (hypo-hydration) or it can develop during exercise (exercise induced dehydration). Being involved in sports is when we hear it most often that it is important to always drink water before and after practice and that is because water is what helps regulate our body temperature and allow our muscles to contract, also our body keeps a normal body temperature by sweating out water which occurs during exercise.
In contrast to athletes being dehydrated and getting injured as a result of that there is also such thing as overhydrating. Over-hydration normally occurs to people who are involved in exercise that last longer than three hours, this is because the amount of sweat increased which causes the athlete to not have enough sodium in their blood stream. However, excessive overdrinking should be avoided because it can also compromise physical performance and health (Casa, 212). In the past, there has been examples of individuals whose blood sodium falls to a low level and their brain swells, which can result in seizures, coma, and death. When individuals do not know how much they should drink it is not smart to just keep drinking. The amount of water an athlete should drink depends on their volume of sweat and the sodium concentration of their sweat, both of which can vary depending on aerobic fitness, exercise intensity and ambient temperature(SportMedBC).
There are constant concerns with athletes and how much water they should be drinking or not drinking but hydration is still important for everyone else in the world. If we were outside at a three-day festival and did not have enough water in our system, would we would pass out? Would our brain dry out? Would our body shut down? Dehydration has so many effects on our body that are not all good and somehow not all bad. Dehydration does cause an increase in the concentration of body fluids, changes in the organ masses, evaporative water loss diminished and water reabsorption increased. Dehydration challenges the water balance and also decreases the water flux (Anderson, 313). Dehydration will not affect the body that others can physically see and tell us that we are dehydrated but the insides of our body start to experience difficulty and cannot function as well without having enough water in our system. Individuals may feel like they are going to pass out because their blood volume decreases and that cause blood pressure to drop which leads to not having enough blood and oxygen in our brain and that can also force us to feel like we are going to pass out.
In order to not get dehydrated, we need to be aware of how to stay hydrated and the process that it takes to have enough water in our system in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day being dehydrated is extremely bad for us as humans. Depending on the lifestyle that each of us live, it is important that we must drink at least half of our body weight in ounces of water daily and that is because our bodies are made up of 55-75% water and we do in fact lose water daily by breathing. Some do not enjoy drinking plain old water, it is a suggestion to eat certain foods that we can get water from; the best source is fruits and veggies (McArthur).
Hydrating is not something that someone can force on us, we must force ourselves to stay hydrated and to drink enough water because it has so many different benefits and prevents us from getting dehydrated. Being dehydrated will not cause death, it can but it is not something that awful instead it will affect the inside organs of our body as important as an individual’s brain. However, the constant instruction to drink water and stay hydrated when we are going to be outside for long hours or are going to participate in exercise is important. Our body needs it, it depends on water in so many different ways.
“Are you drinking enough water?” 2016, Jun 10. The Spectrum.
“Hydration Testing of Athletes” Springerlink. December 2002.
“Hyponatemia or Overhydration- Who is at Risk? “ SportMedbc. 2017.
“Not Good, but Not All Bad: Dehydration Effects on Body Fluids, Organ Masses, and Water Flux through the Skin of Rhinella schneideri (Amphibia, Bufonidae)” . The University of Chicago Press Journals. 3 January 2017.