Out of all the hydration facts, there is one you need to know above all else. Regardless of the circumstances, your health level, the current climate or whatever disaster has just occurred, you will not last more than 72 hours without water.
That’s it. 72 hours. While some health conditions, levels of exercise or climate will have a vast impact, none of them will prolong that time.
3 days is all it will take for your body to dehydrate enough to kill you. That is why it is so important to know what the signs of dehydration are.
While this article hopes to show you what signs to look for when it comes to your own hydration levels, there’s also this article that shows you how to conserve the water you do have as best as possible.
What is Dehydration?
In short, your body contains mostly of water. Whilst you might think bones and muscles are just solid matter, the truth is bones contain as much as 31% water.
Muscles contain around 79%, much more than even I realized. Whilst the numbers for each body part varies, the average body as a whole contains 60% water.
Your body requires this water to function, to perform even the basic roles to keep you alive. Without sufficient hydration, things start to go pear-shaped as organs begin to shut down to try and conserve energy and fluid.
Did you know that even breathing causes you to lose hydration? Your lungs consist of around 83% water.
Every time you breathe out, a certain percentage of your body’s water transforms into gas and you breathe it out of your lungs, back into the atmosphere. The effects of dehydration can come on fast, so it’s important to monitor your hydration.
3 Important Hydration Facts
Fact #1: How to Monitor Dehydration
Unfortunately, there’s no way to peer inside your body and gauge just how dehydrated you are. There’s no dipstick, level-gauge or other tool you can use. But surprisingly, there are ways to monitor proper hydration.
By keeping a regular check of the warning signs, looking for any sign of dehydration, will help you stay on top of things.
Urine is one of the best indicators of your hydration. No hydration facts would be complete without mentioning it. While drinking is the normal method for adding water to your system, urination is the body’s natural way to remove it.
Urine is essential, despite being one of the main ways for your body to lose hydration. But it is also essential for flushing out toxins, hence the need for it.
Monitor three specific things with your urine to gain a better understanding. These things are the best indicators for how hydrated you are-
- Color- Clear urine means you are well hydrated. As the color turns more yellow, orange or a tea-color, your body is becoming more dehydrated.
- Frequency- the more often you go to the toilet, the more hydrated you are. If it’s 10 to 12 hours between urination, you’ll need to replenish.
- Amount- if you’re only urinating a few drops, your body is also telling you something. The less you are peeing, the more dehydrated you are.
Fact #2: The Amount of Water You Should Drink
Posters, advertisements and experts bombard us on a daily basis with suggestions of just how much water we should drink everyday for optimal hydration. But there are many factors to take into consideration, changing the numbers thrown at us.
Men and women require differing amounts, as do adults and children. While some people will be more active than others, they’ll require more as they will lose more from sweating than someone sitting at a desk all day.
The recommended amounts are around 11 cups (2.7 liters) for women and 15 cups (3.7 liters) for men. But these figures also don’t include the water intake from foods that you consume per day.
Fact #3: The Water You Absorb from Other Things
Your daily intake of water isn’t just from the bottles you actively drink. Quite a bit of water comes from the foods you eat as well.
For one thing, fruits and vegetables contain between 80 and 90% water. And just as your own muscles contain around 79% water, so do animal muscles, or the meat you eat.
Much of the food you eat contains certain levels of water and this is added to your overall daily consumption. Research suggests that you absorb between 5 and 6 cups of water from food alone.
This means that the huge number of cups recommended for your daily health is reduced significantly.
However you view water consumption, it is a lifeline that keeps you alive. Without it, you will quickly deteriorate. The hydration facts in this article guide you to monitor your own hydration levels when you need them most.