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Did you know, your body is made up of 60 percent water? In order to function properly your body has to regularly replenish its water supply.
Problems Caused by Dehydration
There are lots of health problems that can be caused by a lack of water. These include:
• Bad mood
• Dry mouth or eyes
• Dark yellow colored urine (it should be pale yellow or clear)
• Not passing urine very frequently
• Tingling in limbs
• Sunken fontanelle (in babies)
• In more moderate cases of dehydration, seizures and fainting can occur.
• The heart can be affected as it has to beat faster to make up for loss of water.
• Severe cases of dehydration can result in death.
How Does Water Improve My Health?
Your body uses water to carry nutrients to your cells. It also uses water to help detoxify your internal organs and keep them moist. It lubricates your joints and your eyes and helps your digestive system to digest food.
Why Does Dehydration Happen?
You lose water constantly throughout the day and night through breathing, urinating, having bowel movements and sweating so you need to drink enough to replace what is lost. Not everyone keeps track of how much they are drinking, particularly if they lead a busy lifestyle.
Those who do high impact sports or lots of running may be at increased risk of dehydration because they sweat more. Babies are also at increased risk because they have a low body weight so even tiny amounts of fluid loss can affect them negatively. People with long-term health problems may also be at increased risk.
How Much Water Do I Need Per Day?
The Institute of Medicine say that men need on average 13 cups of drink per day and women need around nine cups.
UK studies are slightly more conservative and suggest six to eight cups of water per day for adults of both genders.
As a guide you need to drink enough water that you don’t feel thirsty, dizzy, or have a headache. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to drink more.
Babies under the age of six months don’t need any water as they get all they need from breast milk.