Keeping our body fluid balance is an essential way of survival. More than 60% of our body is composed of water. In an adult men body fluid percentage consists of around 60% and in adult women is around 50%. In children the water content is higher around 70%.
Importance of keeping the body hydrated.
- It’s the primary carrier of nutrients
- Maintaining the body temperature.
- It is the medium of all body fluids like blood, saliva, digestive juices, urine and sweat.
Compartments of body water:
The body’s total body water is contributed from extracellular fluid and intracellular fluid. The intracellular fluid (ICF) compartment is the system that includes all fluid enclosed in cells by their plasma membranes. Extracellular fluid (ECF) surrounds all cells in the body.
Thirst is symptom of dehydration:
Usually, thirst is the first line symptom of dehydration. Loss of fluid in the body lead to concentration of electrolytes like sodium in extracellular fluids, thus water is reabsorbed from saliva leaving dryness of throat and mouth. This, dry sensation in the mouth stimulates thirst and fluid intake.
Dehydration leads to body’s stress:
- Loss of fluid lead to decrease in blood volume, thus resulting in difficulty in circulation of blood especially to brain. Reduction of blood supply to brain decreases the brain function.
- A decrease in fluid of 4-5% will result in decline of 20-30% work performance.
- Unwanted body’s wasted will be accumulated instead of excreting via urine.
Symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- A general sense of fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling excessively hot
- Light headed
- Blurry vision
- Dark colored urine.
Body has no provision for water storage , therefore the amount of water lost has to be replenished in the body to maintain health and equilibrium. In situations like extreme heat or excessive sweating, thirst may not keep pace for the actual water requirement of the body. Thus, try to include few sips of water every 15-20mins regardless of thirst sensation, to overcome hot summer and replenish the body fluids.