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.Many consider water to be the only appropriate beverage for hydrating while some use other beverages to achieve similar benefits. According to, The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health water is essential for life. It was also stated that, It is not always negative when one does not drink only water, studies show that if an individual were to pick up a soda or coffee it may be advantageous because it allows water losses to be replaced before thirst-producing dehydration takes place. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages. Drinking fluids other than water can contribute to an intake of caloric nutrients in excess of requirements, or in alcohol consumption that in some people may insidiously bring about dependence .Overwhelming evidence discusses how important it is to drink water on a regular basis because most times anything other than water has negative side effects.
Even though water is the easiest type of drink to get no matter what and has many positive benefits there are still people who refuse to believe that it is the best fluid to hydrate us at all times. But R.L. Calderon in the Food and Chemical Toxicology warns individuals that there are a number of chemical contaminants identified in drinking water. Some people swear on sports drinks hydrating our bodies faster than water because osmolality is the concentration of dissolved particles in a fluid. Sports drinks contain dissolved minerals (sodium, etc.) and carbohydrates, whereas water doesn’t, so water doesn’t reach the bloodstream as quickly. In the article Which Fluid Hydrates Best: Water or a Sports Drink? written by Matt Fitzgerald there was a study done at San Antonio Catholic University in Spain that compared two drinks one having more grams and carbohydrates than the other and the result was that the drink with more carbs and grams hydrate individuals better We could take it as the one drink was similar to water because there was very little grams and carbohydrates it in there.
The study that one must drink eight, eight ounce glasses of specifically just water daily in order to stay hydrated has been fought against. However, a recent study found that no scientific studies were found in support of 8 x 8. The long-lasting idea that anything other than water such as iced tea, coffee, tea, and sodas dehydrate us and to stay away from them. This 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 or not have negative side effects. 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 one consumes 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 drinking only 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.
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 affect their performance. The main aim or aims of sports drink consumption do vary according to the exercise situation. Sports drinks are likely to be used for 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 endurance 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 thought of, 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 one’s body needs water for proper functioning. Dehydration may affect some worse than it affects others, however it will never be positive.
- Calderon R.L., (2000). “The epidemiology of chemical contaminants of drinking water”.Food and Chemical Toxicology. 38(1), S13-20.
- Fitzgerald M. (2018) “Which Fluid Hydrates Us Better: Water or a Sports Drink?”
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