We all know that we need to be drinking water but why do we need to be drinking water.? What makes it so important.? What is the body do with it and what happens to the body when you don’t have enough of it.? Drinking water is crucial for health. Our kidneys respond to the water levels in the body with the help of the nervous system. First of all, we need to discuss some important points.
What is thirst?
Thirst occurs when there is a need for an organism such as you to find and consume water. As you know, without water, you would die within a few days. Suppose you are in the Sahara desert with no protection from elements. You are likely to die a whole lot quicker than you would If you were in other environments. In contrast, humans can survive without food for weeks to months at a time. Water is just very important. You find water in two places in the body. You can find it inside of cells or what we call intracellular spaces or can find it outside of cells. The outside portion of the cell is known as extracellular space. Roughly two-thirds of your total water volume is going to be located in the intracellular space. Meaning most of your water is going to be in the cells of your brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys. The remaining one-third will be found outside of your cells. This means that depending on the type of dehydration you are experiencing, you could actually experience different types of thirst.
If your cells become dehydrated oftentimes, simply drinking water can be enough to replenish them. However, if you lose blood because blood contains water, let’s say you get a cut on your arm. That could mean that you need water and salt to help regenerate the blood at its correct concentrations. You might need a meal to go with your water to fully quench your thirst. Read more about ways to improve health.
How much water should you drink per day?
It depends on a variety of factors. It depends on the altitude you live at, your age, menstruation, physical activity, and so on. If you want to make an overall improvement in your health, first you need to educate yourself as to why it is actually important to make that improvement. Then you need to build a healthy habit. Drinking 3 liters of water is enough for the average person. Too much water consumption can be dangerous.
Homeostasis and osmoregulation
Homeostasis is the body’s natural balance. Hypothalamus has the job to bring the body back to homeostasis and sometimes bring it away from homeostasis. It really depends on the circumstances. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothalamus will deviate from that based on demand. If your body is hot then it will recognize that and will start to initiate sweating to help bring you to cool down. Another important thing to focus on is the body’s water regulation also known as osmoregulation. Drinking water properly also helps in the regulation of fluid balance in the body.
How brain regulate hydration?
The brain regulates hydration through osmosis. Osmosis is the diffusion or movement of water from one area to another based on electrolyte concentration. You have probably heard about electrolytes before. It is usually used in sports drinks. These are going to be things like sodium, chloride, potassium to name a few and they are all over the body. They are extremely important for cellular function and just performance. In this instance, they are essential for monitoring and regulating hydration levels. Osmoreceptors present in the hypothalamus can detect the electrolyte levels in the body. If there is not enough water present in the body, osmoreceptors will actually shrink and send the signal down to the pituitary gland to release the ADH hormone. This hormone will play a role to conserve water in the body. It will also prevent urination. If there is too much water in the body, osmoreceptors will send signals to the pituitary gland to release less ADH and more urination will occur.
How does dehydration affect your body?
It depends on the type of dehydration happening to you. Blood loss is actually the form of dehydration. With enough blood loss, you have some severe problems on your hand. You also lose water through breathing and even speaking, through crying, through sweating and it is not just water you are losing in these instances. You are also going to be losing electrolytes.
Salts attract water. So, in order to get rid of water, you are also going to be getting rid of some of those electrolytes. This loss is going to alter and affect the osmoregulation pathway. So, it depends on the form of dehydration. Common symptoms of dehydration include headache, dry mouth, and darker color of urine. When there is less water content in the urine and a higher density of other things, it just tends to look darker. You are also going to get confusion and fatigue. The worst dehydration gets, the worst symptoms will get.
Dehydration can also lead to a loss of strength and stamina. It is the main cause of heat exhaustion. When there is a lack of water in the body, it will make your cardiovascular system work harder to efficiently pump the blood. Eventually, it will affect your heart health. Major signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, Urinating less than usual, headache, dry mouth, and fatigue.
Build better habits
Be sure to consume electrolytes with water to optimize the hydration levels. Most healthy people can easily stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses per day.
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