Do You Drink Enough Water? Study Shows That Dehydrated Drivers Can Be Dangerous On The Road


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Categories: Health & Nutrition

Water makes up about two thirds of who we are, and influences 100 percent of the processes in our body,. Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 percent water, depending on body size. Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits.  Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day to maintain good health.

Drinking pure water every day is a key component of optimal health. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of forgoing water for other types of fluids, most of which have added ingredients that will not do your health any favors.

Kids are particularly prone to drinking sweet drinks like soda and fruit juice instead of plain water, and many teens tend to reach for sports and energy drinks instead.

According to a recent Harvard study,1,2,3 more than half of American children are dehydrated, which can have repercussions for their health and academic performance.


About one-quarter of children in the US do not drink water on a daily basis. Overall, boys were more than 75 percent more likely to be inadequately hydrated than girls.

This dovetails with previous studies4 showing that boys drink more sugary beverages than girls. According to one 2011 analysis, about 70 percent of boys aged 2-19 drink sugary beverages daily. As noted by lead author Erica Kenney:5

“These findings are significant because they highlight a potential health issue that has not been given a whole lot of attention in the past.

Even though for most of these kids this is not an immediate, dramatic health threat, this is an issue that could really be reducing quality of life and well-being for many, many children and youth.”

Your Body Needs Water for Proper Functioning

Your body is comprised of about 65 percent water, which is needed for a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, including but not limited to:

  • Blood circulation
  • Metabolism
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Waste removal and detoxification

Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is one obvious way to ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day.

However, by the time your thirst mechanism actually kicks in, you’re already in the early stages of dehydration, so you don’t want to ignore the initial sensations of thirst.

Moreover, the thirst mechanism tends to be underdeveloped in children, making them more vulnerable to dehydration. The elderly are also at heightened risk.

Hunger—sugar cravings in particular—can also be a sign that your body is crying for water, so as noted in the featured video, when you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first.

So, in addition to thirst, which is an obvious signal, other signals indicating you need to drink more water include:6,7

Fatigue and/or dizziness Mood swings
Foggy thinking and poor concentration Chills
Muscle cramps Back or joint ache
Dull, dry skin and/or pronounced wrinkles Constipation
Infrequent urination; dark, concentrated urine Headache
Bad breath Sugar cravings

Severe dehydration can be life threatening, but even mild dehydration can cause problems ranging from headaches and irritability to impaired cognition. It can also affect your sports performance, as noted in a recent CNN report:8

“Even being slightly dehydrated affects your ability to put effort into your workout. ‘A two percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance,’ says [sports dietitian Amy] Goodson.

"‘And the more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.’ Measured by ‘perceived exertion,’ how hard you feel you're exercising, you might be working at a 6 but you feel like you are working at an 8, says Goodson.”

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