Understanding and Managing Hydration Affects Health and Wellness

Understanding and Managing Hydration Affects Health and Wellness

Being aware of your hydration habits can have a direct impact on your health, wellness, and behavioral lifestyle choices. Adequate fluid intake is important for maintaining nearly all types of bodily functions, such as body temperature control, cognitive function, kidney function, and heart function.1 Additionally, consumption of water allows the body’s vital organs to flush out built-up toxins and waste; it almost functions as a natural body purifier.2 Water also carries many essential nutrients to our cells, which in turn allows these vital organs to function optimally. Taken together, our general health is positively impacted when we consume water.

What happens when we do not consume enough water daily?

When the body enters a state of dehydration, many of the processes that are important for our overall functioning are impacted.

Physically, this impacts our ability to regulate our body temperature, our digestion, our circulation, our energy levels, and disrupts the ability to remove wastes from our body.1,3,4 This also can make it difficult to maintain healthy heart and liver function.1

Mentally, this decreases our sharpness and ability to focus.5 It can also cause headaches or feelings of fatigue.4 Staying hydrated promotes sustained performance both physically and mentally, which impacts everyone from extreme athletes to individuals working a desk job.

Managing fluid intake is one solution in helping individuals to increase their frequency of hydration. It is commonly understood that the average person must drink about 64 oz of water per day to maintain adequate levels of hydration. However, it is important to note that hydration goals are individualistic and rely on factors such as personal sweat rate, exercise mode, exercise intensity, environmental conditions, exercise duration6, and even demographic factors such as gender and age.7 Understanding what adequate fluid intake looks like and maintaining that intake each day is essential for optimizing health and wellness.  In 1986, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a way of empowering individuals and enabling them to lead a life of meaning and purpose.

What if all it took to lead a life of meaning and purpose, as defined by WHO, was meeting your daily fluid intake goals?

  1. Huang H-Y, Hsieh C-Y, Liu K-C, Hsu SJ-P, Chan C-T. Fluid intake monitoring system using a wearable inertial sensor for fluid intake management. Sensors. 2020; 20: 6682-91.
  2. Wolf R, Wolf D, Rudikoff D, Parish LC. Nutrition and water: drinking eight glasses of water a day ensures proper skin hydration-myth or reality? Clinics in Derm. 2010; 28: 380-383.
  3. Barley OR, Chapman DW, Abbiss CR. Reviewing the current methods of assessing hydration in athletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutrition. 2020; 17(52): 1-13.
  4. Liska D, Mah, E, Brisbois T, Barrios PL, et al. Narrative review of hydration and selected health outcomes in the general population. Nutrients. 2019; 11(70): 1-29.
  5. Lindseth PD, Lindseth GN, Petros TV, Jensen WC, Caspers J. Effects of hydration on cognitive function of pilots. Military Medicine. 2013; 178: 792-798.
  6. Belval LN, Hosokawa Y, Casa DJ, Adams WM, et al. Practical hydration solutions for sports. Nutrients. 2019; 11(1550): 1-15.
  7. Madhavi KR, Sunitha G, Avanija J, Raju SV, Abbagalla S. Impact analysis of hydration and sleep intervention using regression techniques. Turkish J Comp Math Edu. 2021; 12(2): 2129-2133
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