We require several vital nutrients in order to stay healthy. The intake of food and water are most important to keep functioning. Although food is necessary for life itself, a healthy human can, depending on the circumstances, stay alive for up to forty days without food. However, we can only survive for three or four days without water or liquids of some kind. Although foods that we eat, such as vegetables and fruit, contain fluids, these are not enough to make sure that we are sufficiently hydrated.
Those who play outdoor or indoor sports are particularly vulnerable to dehydration if adequate water intake is not taken during and after exercise. Although Australian tap water is quite healthy, it comprises chemicals that might not be acceptable for many health-conscious people. For them, filtered water is the best alternative as it removes any impurities that ordinary tap water might contain. Nevertheless, our bodies must be kept hydrated on a daily basis and water, if it is clean and it has a good taste, will provide us with the required fluids that sustain life.
What are the consequences if we don’t adequately hydrate our bodies on a daily basis? A lack of water can create a substantial decrease in our energy levels. This can be between 20-30%. The recommended amount of daily fluid intake is eight glasses or at least two litres, most of which should be pure water. This ensures that our bodies perform optimally and that we are able to get rid of toxins.
We should drink fluids before we become thirsty. Thirst is a sign that dehydration has already taken place. Rather drink regularly throughout the day so that we hydrate ourselves before we experience any symptoms of water deprivation.
What are the symptoms of dehydration? A dry mouth is a good indication. Other symptoms are lack of concentration, headaches, tiredness and irritability. Another important sign is if urine is a deep amber colour. Insufficient water can also cause constipation. From this, we can see that keeping our bodies hydrated at all times is a necessary part of life. This is especially true for athletes and those playing sports. In fact, sports people require even more water than those who lead sedentary lives.
During regular gym exercise we can lose one litre of body fluids for each hour of exercise. Therefore, it is important that we maintain our bodies by drinking sufficient clean water throughout the day.