It is constant that as humans we are being told the importance of drinking water however we really do not know what would happen to our bodies with no water. There could be so many different meanings behind the word “dehydration”. As stated from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Human’s bodies need water, it is essential for life. Without water humans can survive only for days because water compromises 75% body weight in infants to 55% in elderly and is extremely important for cellular homeostasis. Water intake effects health, energy, weight, and human performance and functioning (Popkin, D’Anci, Rosenberg, 439-458).
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 at times death. For athletes, 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 athletes bodies to need it so badly. It is a given that athletes sweat during exercise and it is not uncommon for athletes to lose 6–10% of body weight in sweat loss (Popkin, D’Anci, Rosenberg, 439-458). Dehydration can occur before exercise (hypo-hydration) or it can develop during exercise (exercise induced dehydration). Being involved in sports is when we hear most often that it is important to always drink water before and after practice. 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 those who are involved in exercise that last longer than three hours, that 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 have 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 are not aware of the proper amount of water to drink it is not efficient 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. However, 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 but 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 causes water reabsorption to increase. Dehydration challenges the water balance and also decreases the water flux (Anderson, 313). Dehydration will not always affect the body that others can physically see and tell us that we are dehydrated but the insides of the body start to experience difficulty. Bodies are not able to function as well without having enough water in their 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 which can also force one to feel like they are going to pass out.
In order to not become dehydrated, one needs 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 humans. Depending on the lifestyle that each individual lives 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).
Staying hydrated is not something that one can force on anyone, it must be something that someone forces on themselves. Being dehydrated will not cause death, it does in fact have an impact on something as important as one’s cognitive performance, kidneys, heart function and skin (Popkin, D’Anci, Rosenberg, 439-458). 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 will always be important. Water has such an important role in one’s health it is essential to the survival of humans.
“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.
Popkin B. M., D’Anci, K. E., Rosenberg I. H. (2010.) “Water, Hydration and Health.”US National Library of Medicine National Insititutes of Health. 68(8), 439-458.