Living here in Granada, Nicaragua, especially during the dry season, it can get quite hot and many do not drink enough water. I hope to share some facts which will encourage you to be sure you are drinking a sufficient amount of water each day. Lack of water or dehydration can cause many health problems. Here is a list of just four health problems caused by dehydration, though there are many more than four.
1. Headaches — the brain is almost 90% water and lack of water can cause headaches. If you are one who has headaches try this and see if lack of water is the cause. Sit down in a nice cool place and drink one 8 oz glass of water (at room temperature, not cold). Rest for 10 minutes then drink another glass of water, do this one more time — rest and drink a third glass of water. If your headache is gone then you know what caused it: Dehydration!
2. Constipation — when the body does not have sufficient water it will absorb the water from the fecal material, making it hard, causing constipation.
3. High Blood Pressure — our blood is 78% water and when we are dehydrated the blood becomes thicker which raises our blood pressure as the heart tries to circulate our blood to all parts of our body. If you have high blood pressure start drinking enough water and see if your pressure does not go down. Water is much cheaper and safer than taking drugs to lower your pressure.
4. Kidney Problems — lack of water causes our urine to become darker with a bad odor causing kidney and bladder infections. To keep our blood stream cleaner, causing our urine to be clearer with less odor we need to be drinking a sufficient amount of water.
So how much water does one need to drink?
That depends upon how much one weighs. There is a simple formula: Take your weight divide and it in half — that is how much water you need to be drinking every 24 hours. For example, I weigh 170 lbs; so I divide that in half to get 85 — that means I need 85 ozs of water, which would be 10 and a half 8 oz glasses of water everyday. If I am working out in the hot sun I would need more.
Some may ask, “but Doctor, I don’t eliminate that much water everyday?” Yes, you do.
We lose water through urine, sweat, fecal material, breathing and even each time we blink our eyes.
It amazes me that something so simple as water is not appreciated or consumed in sufficient amounts. Many would rather drink coffee, tea or beer and these are diuretics which actually rob our bodies of water. Sodas are another poor substitute many use for water and they are full of sugar and chemicals which cause many health problems.
To help keep your blood stream clean and flowing drink lots of water. Imagine trying to clean the outside of your body by showering in coffee, tea, beer or sodas. Gross! You need water. Well that goes for keeping the inside of your body clean also.
So how about a large glass of water!