Let’s look at some basics of your body and water: Water in the body: How Much?
At birth, a baby ‘s weight is approx.75% water. From that point in life the percent gradually declines.
healthy adults(averages) % of body water:
Males ages 12-50 -ave 59% water as body weight and ages 51+ is 56%
Females ages 12-18- 56% body weight as water, ages 19-50= 50%, ages 51+=47% body weight as water
Infant’s birth-6 mo.=56%, 6 mo-12yr= 60%, (Overall Ave- 55-60% water)
The % decreases due to more body fat as we age. Fatty tissue contains less water. Your weight and body composition determine the percentage of water in your body.
So, we know water is such a large % of our body-
Where is it stored : 2/3 of body Water is stored in cells in body organs-brain, Bones, skin and muscles
Cleveland Clinic- Your brain and heart are made up of 73% water. Your bones are 31% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% and your skin is 64%. And 83% of water makes up your lungs.
1/3 extracellular. -The liquid portion of blood- plasma is about 90 percent water. Plasma carries the blood cells, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body.
Why do we need so much in our body- what is the function in the body?
1.Reugulates body temperate-</strong> temperatures rise- sweat and respiration.
2. moistens tissues- eyes, mouth and nose- saliva, tears
3. lubricates joints-
4. Protects body tissues and organs-</strong>protects sensitive tissues and spine- shock absorber
5. Helps prevent constipation and helps flush waste- urine
6. Dissolves minerals and nutrients-metabolizes and transports proteins and carbohydrates from the food you eat to nourish your body
7.Carries oxygen to cells
8. Part of the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and a baby in the womb.
Nearly ALL major systems in the body depend on water.
So, we definitely understand our need for water/fluids intake in our daily lives. As the body sweats, breathes, excretes, grows, sick-diarrhea or vomiting- we lose vital water.
SO HOW MUCH WATER DO WE NEED EVERYDAY?
Depends on a few factors.
Size- the more you weigh the more water you need. Activity Level- If you work out, move a large amount of the day- need more. Where you live- warmer climates or warmer weather- need to drink more. Higher metabolism- need more water.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and medicine recommend: on average
Men- 3.7liters/day (125 oz)
Women- 2.7 liters/day (91 oz) these are TOTAL- amounts food + beverage
Good calculation- body weight in pounds/2= ounces to drink / day ex 180 lb/2= 90 ounces
How to tell if you are getting enough water daily. Do not just go on thirst.
Check your urine- should be a watery yellow color. If bright yellow or a strong smell- drink more.
Physical Symptoms of mild- mod dehydration, Constipation, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Fatigue, Muscle cramps. High heart rate but low blood pressure, Loss of appetite but maybe craving sugar, Flushed (red) skin. Swollen feet, Heat intolerance, or chills.
Mild dehydration symptoms should disappear and You should feel better after five or 10 minutes.
Moderate dehydration</strong> symptoms- may need IV hydration at urgent care or doctor office.
Severe dehydration- call 911or go to the ER,
Dehydration affects vital organs.
Brain-Severe hydration shrinks the blood vessels in the brain. When there aren’t high enough fluid levels in your brain, that affects your memory and coordination.
Heart- Your heart has to work harder when there’s less water in your blood.
Kidney- We urinate about six or seven times a day. If you’re dehydrated, you urinate less because less water in your blood causes your kidneys to hold on to the urine.
Cramping-When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, can cause cramping. Drink water, but also a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes if your fluid losses are extensive from sweating, vomiting or diarrhea.
Mental Symptoms of dehydration- Confused-Like you can’t remember. Emotional affects- Cranky, Anxious. * Important note these are amplified in a person with dementia.
Losing as little as 1.5% of your body water you can start to see symptoms- headache. Your amazing body’s natural response to water loss is thirst- so drink water.
Important fact-Certain medications such as diuretics (water pills) can result in increased urination and dehydration.
INFANTS/CHILDREN- especially when they’re sick, are at a higher risk because they may be unable to communicate that they’re thirsty. Monitor the amounts of fluids your kids take in. (WATER IS BEST)
ELDERLY- at a higher risk. Their body’s fluid reserves shrink and their body’s ability to tell them they’re thirsty doesn’t work as effectively. This means they don’t carry as much water in their bodies and they can’t tell as easily when they’re thirsty. If you’re a caretaker of an elderly individual, especially one who may have memory problems, offer them drinks frequently.
Drinks matter: You can meet it in many ways.
Water is always the preferred. Juices like 100% OJ is moistly water. Be careful of caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks) for they can act like diuretics- which can make you urinate more. Alcohol can also act like a diuretic so may not be a wise choice in your fluid count.
Foods that have high water content and add to fluid intake amounts: strawberries, berries, oranges, citrus fruits, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, watermelon, cantaloup, melons, skim milk, soups, broths (watch sodium content)
In summary, our bodies are over 50% water and water is vitally important for key bodily functions. We must be aware of our fluid intake in all age groups – but especially our babies, young and elderly and the sick. Encourage water over other drinks.