words Al Woods
Most people know how important drinking water is and how it can affect health. Hydration is as important to health as good nutrition, if not more so. But still, many people in the general population aren’t keeping track of how much water they drink each day.
They also aren’t questioning where their water comes from and how pure or impure it is. The amount of water we drink and the quality of it are both crucial to how long we survive and how well we live.
Dehydration, even when it’s not noticeable, can potentially cut years off a person’s life. Staying hydrated, but doing so with contaminated water, can also have a major impact on health. What follows are some of the most important reasons why proper hydration should be at the top of everybody’s priority list in life.
Quality of Water When Hydrating
The importance of the quality of water while staying hydrated has been well-established by health experts. To filter contaminants from drinking water, health-conscious people have turned to filtration devices such as the Berkey Water Filter. However, many people never think about this because they’re unaware of the impurities in their water.
Everybody knows somebody who has had diarrhea at least a few times in their life. While there are many different causes for symptoms like this, drinking water that has been contaminated with bacteria is one of the most common. Yet, few people ever suspect that their stomach or bowel problems started with a glass of water.
Some forms of bacteria found in water sources, such as E. coli, can survive in water for up to 12 weeks. One North American study found that 20% of households with private wells had E. coli and other contaminants that were well beyond the American and Canadian EPA limits for these.
Immediate Effects of Not Hydrating
When most people think of dehydration, they likely imagine extreme scenarios involving severe forms of the condition. However, even the milder types of dehydration, such as when a person feels thirsty, can affect one’s health. In recent years, researchers have been finding links between mild dehydration and health disorders.
One study found that even moderate dehydration can cause a wide range of immediate side effects in the body. A person’s cognitive abilities, or their skill at performing mental tasks, are greatly affected. For many people, this would impact their concentration and job performance. This can also affect athletes and how well they perform in sports.
But it’s difficult for some people to recognize when they may be at risk of mild dehydration. Constipation and thirst are two of the first warning signs that a person is not drinking enough water.
While the long-term effects may not be as obvious right away, they can completely change someone’s life when they do happen. Studies have linked inadequate water intake to kidney problems, urinary tract infections, obesity, and various types of cancer.
As people age, the gradual effects of not staying hydrated begin to take their toll rather quickly. By the time someone realizes this, it’s often too late to reverse much of the damage that’s been done. One of the most visible effects is in a person’s skin and appearance. The water you drink is connected to your skin’s health. Water intake levels have been directly linked in other studies to skin elasticity and overall skin hydration.
Elasticity is what makes the difference between a youthful appearance and an elderly or weathered look. However, young people are also at risk of health complications if they don’t consume enough water each day, particularly those who exercise or sweat a lot.
Safe Hydration is Key to Happiness
Lastly, the importance of hydration can’t be understated, which is why everybody should be drinking the recommended amount each day. Health experts typically tell their patients to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. However, a person’s water intake depends on many factors such as how active they are, their age, and their health status.
Also, questioning where the water is coming from is just as important as fluid intake. Making sure that you’re staying hydrated and doing so safely is key to living a happy, healthy, and long life. Without water, our health suffers, and we then can’t enjoy all the other great things that life has to offer.