Dehydration; there’s a lot more to it
We give little thought to water, the fluid that preserves our health, maintains our body temperature, prevents headaches, and most importantly, keeps us hydrated.For many water is the only way to stay hydrated for daily living or strenuous activity. Overwhelming evidence proves that water maintains the equal body temperature needed for healthy blood flow and that performance suffers for athletes who don’t drink enough water prior to an event.
Even though water is the go to drink, it is the easiest type of drink to get no matter where we are and it is the most important fluid that enters our body. There are still people who refuse to drink water, say it is not the best fluid to keep us hydrated and argue that there are other fluids that can do a better job than water. Some of these arguments could be true, but could only be true to some. If there are individuals who do not need water in order to live a healthy lifestyle and do not become dehydrated without water then they happen to be lucky, hard to find individuals.
As researched prior it is important that one drinks at least 8-ounce glasses of water a day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stop themselves from the awfulness of dehydration. The long lasting idea that anything other than water such as iced tea, coffee, tea, and sodas dehydrated you and to stay away from them. However, a recent study found that no scientific studies were found in support of 8 x 8. Rather, surveys of food and fluid intake on thousands of adults of both genders, analyses of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, strongly suggest that such large amounts are not needed because the surveyed persons were presumably healthy and certainly not overtly ill. This conclusion is supported by published studies showing that caffeinated drinks (and, to a lesser extent, mild alcoholic beverages like beer in moderation) may indeed be counted toward the daily total, as well as by the large body of published experiments that attest to the precision and effectiveness of the osmoregulatory system for maintaining water balance (Valtin, 283). With that being said, it shows that maybe 8 ounces of just water are not needed daily in order to keep an individual hydrated and without those 8 ounces a person will not become ill. It also brings forth something that not many people know and that is that all of those caffeinated drinks such as iced tea, coffee, and soda can be counted towards the total of how much fluid you are consuming daily that contributes to hydration.
When it comes to achieving any goal there are always strategies to do so. For example in order to be hydrated each day people set strategies such as drinking a certain amount of water by this time, the next amount of water 3 hours later and so on so that they can make sure they are hydrated each day and drinking the amount of water that their body requires. Some beg to differ, for example there was an experiment done to examine the effect of various combinations of beverages on hydration status in healthy living males. The men consumed different combination of beverages including beverages that were carbonated, caffeinated caloric, non-caloric and coffee. Before this took place body weight, urine and blood were measured as well as afterwards. There was no significant differences in the effect of various combination of beverages on hydration status of healthy adult males.Advising people to disregard caffeinated beverages as part of the daily fluid intake is not substantiated by the results of this study. The across-treatment weight loss observed, when combined with data on fluid-disease relationships, suggests that optimal fluid intake may be higher than common recommendations. Further research is needed to confirm these results and to explore optimal fluid intake for healthy individuals (Grandjean, 591-600). This is another counterargument to my thesis that only drinking water is the key to staying hydrated each day. Since there was no significant difference in the males being studied who were drinking all different types of fluid compared to the ones who were just drinking water, it makes us question what are these different fluids doing to our internal organs that need water each day? That study disagrees with those individuals who come up with hydration strategies and believe those strategies are not necessary.
Within this argument, sports and strenuous activity have been important because hydration is even more essential to those individuals compared to others because dehydration can effect their performance. The main aim or aims of sports drink consumption do vary according to the exercise situation, but are likely to be one or more of the following: to stimulate rapid fluid absorption, to supply carbohydrate as a substrate for use during exercise, to speed re- hydration, to reduce the physiological stress of exercise, and to promote recovery after exercise. Water is not the optimum fluid for ingestion during en- durance exercise, and there is compelling evidence that drinks containing added substrate and electrolytes are more effective. Increasing the carbohydrate content of drinks will increase the amount of fuel which can be supplied, but will tend to decrease the rate at which water can be made available. (Shirreffs, 25-28). Taken from that, water is not the best drink for athletes to drink during their strenuous activity like it always has been, there must be other fluids that they incorporate in order to keep their performance up because if not their body can shut down and not perform to the best of their ability.
There is simply no way that anyone can avoid drinking water completely and still live a healthy lifestyle. There may be some days that one does not need to drink as much water as another day and can consume the other beverages such as soda, coffee, or alcoholic beverages but those fluids need to be combined with the consumption of water. Dehydration will always be as bad as it is made out to be because of how it effects the inside organs of your body, it takes a toll on you. Dehydration may affect some worse than it affects others, but it will never be a positive effect always negative.
Grandjean AC, Reimers KJ, Bannick KE, Haven MC. The effect of caffeinated, non-caffeinated, caloric and non-caloric beverages on hydration. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000;19(5):591–600.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shirreffs SM. The optimal sports drink. Schweizerische zeitschrift fur sportmedizin und sporttraumatologie. 2003;51(1):25–30. https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=The%20optimal%20sports%20drink&author=SM.%20Shirreffs&journal=Schweizerische%20zeitschrift%20fur%20sportmedizin%20und%20sporttraumatologie&volume=51&issue=1&pages=25-30&publication_year=2003