The human body is largely made up of water. Blood is mostly water, and muscles, lungs, and the brain all contain a lot of water. Water is needed to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all the organ. Water also transports oxygen to cells all over the body, it removes waste, and it also protects joints and organs.
Water is lost from the body through urination, respiration, and by sweating.
Active people lose more water than sedentary people. Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics and result in the need to drink more water because they fool the body into thinking it has more water to work with than it does.
Dehydration is a major health problem in the United States. Most people simply just do not drink enough water. During the summer people sometimes fill up their liquid requirements with soda pop and other drinks.
But people should avoid carbonated beverages because the carbonation may cause bloating or a feeling of fullness and prevent adequate consumption of fluids. Sports drinks can encourage active people to drink more fluids because they are flavored and are higher in sodium but those wishing to stay hydrated should avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Both these contain substances that will cause dehydration
Water is just the best bet for staying hydrated. It is recommended that people consume at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day.
Thirst is one indicator of dehydration, but it is not the earliest sign of dehydration. By the time a person feels thirsty the liquid level might already be too low. Signs that sometimes occur before thirst includes feeling dizzy or light headed and less production of urine and/or urine that is darker than usual.
The easiest way to avoid dehydration is to drink lots of fluids, especially on hot, dry, windy days. Water is usually the best choice. On hot days, an active person can become dehydrated in just 15 minutes. When people experience symptoms they should stop the activity and rest in a cool area. Then they should drink fluids to replenish the water lost.
To counter dehydration the proper balance must be restored in the body.