The whole body is full of water as it needs it to function properly. Water carries out the toxins excreted by kidneys through the urine. If you want your kidneys function properly you have to maintain appropriate balance of water in your body.
How much should be consumed?
This depends on several factors like the foods consumed, how much you have perspired, how much dehydrating fluid you have consumed, how much you weight, and how much you are tall. The kidneys make the balance of the water which is already in the body and any excess that may be there. During warm days you will need more water and less in the days when you don’t drink coffee/caffeinated drinks. Even though such drinks cause your body release more urine they are not a strong contributor to dehydration. The best fluid to hydrate the body is water. Sodas are high in sugar and trigger insulin release that contributes to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Typically you will need 6-8 glasses of water, but this may not be enough for some people, thus you will have to learn what your body tells you.
What you experience?
Hunger is what you feel when the body needs fluids, thus many weight loss experts advise people to consume a glass of water when they think they want to eat and after this wait for 20 minutes to see if they are still hungry or not. In this way you can recognize ‘real’ hunger and the need for more water. Older people often confuse them as their thirst mechanism becomes weaker and is often confused with feelings of hunger. Dizziness or feeling weak are other symptoms of dehydration. Even if it is mild it can make an imbalance in the body’s equilibrium. It depends on the percentage of water loss there is mild, moderate, and severe dehydration. Once you lose 1-2% of the fluids in your body your thirst mechanism will prompt you to drink. When you lose up to 5% of the fluids it is mild dehydration and you may still be alert and active, appearing sometimes to have normal body functions.
If you are chronically dehydrated (75% of Americans) long list of medical issues and symptoms which may send you to your doctor.
Too much of a good thing
If you think that you cannot drink too much water you are wrong. When you drink water in a short period of time you may experience symptoms of too much and if you have issues with your kidneys then you won’t be able to excrete excess water effectively and can suffer from over-dehydration.
Sodium and potassium imbalance can consume you and can contribute to seizures and loss of consciousness, so in the early stages you may feel like being drunk from lack of electrolyte balance in your brain. The drop of sodium is rare and it occurs when you drink a surplus of fluid without giving time to your kidneys to excrete the excess. It is called hyponatremia (water intoxication).
The kidneys are capable of excreting 1.5 liter (16oz.) every hour.
These are the symptoms of dehydration
The symptoms that appropriate mild, chronic dehydration can be confused with other medical problems which can be reversed once you start drinking enough water.
These are the symptoms of long-term and severe dehydration.
Your urine sends signs, read them
Once you start paying attention to the sings your body sends you can avoid the effects of dehydration of chronic dehydration. The earliest signals are provided by the color and character of the urine.
- Amount – the number of times and the amount indicate your hydration status. Most of the people urinate between 4-7 times a day, but there is no precise number. There are some foods and drinks which can cause you urinate more frequently not because the kidneys produce an excess of urine, but because your bladder is irritated and can make you feel the urge to go frequently. Such foods and drinks are: artificial sweeteners, citrus fruits, chocolate, tomato-based products, carbonated fluids, and caffeinated beverages. If you delay the trip to the bathroom you can cause your bladder become over-distended which can cause muscle and nerve damage. This leads to bladder damage and urinary tract infections.
- Color – it is determined by the concentration of waste products in it. The more water you have in the body for the kidneys o mix with waste products, the lighter the color would be. Drink enough water to have light straw color or light yellow. In case it is darker, then the kidneys work harder to concentrate the waste products, removing them from the body without causing further dehydration. However, do not relay on your perception of thirst to determine the need of fluids. In case your urine is almost clear, then it means that you may be drinking too much.
- Odor – it should be relatively odorless and its scent depends on the dehydration level, the foods you have consumed during the past 24 hours, or whether or not you have bladder infection. If your urine is more concentrated from the waste products eliminated by the kidneys, then the urine will have a stronger ammonia smell. Some meds and urinary tract infections can affect the color and odor. In case you have an infection, the urine may appear cloudy or bloody. If it provides sweet smell, then it means that you have high level of glucose in your urine from uncontrolled diabetes. Liver failure and high ketone levels in the urine can also affect the odor.
- Taste – in the past the trine has been tested to diagnose diabetes mellitus, but this practice is no longer required. Highly concentrated urine you produce when you are dehydrated will have stronger taste than the one produced when you are fully hydrated.
Train your bladder
In case you don’t have any underlying conditions that affect your kidney or bladder, you can train your bladder to urinate only when the urge is strong. There is a line, however, between going to the bathroom each time you feel the urge and waiting until it is painful to hold it. You do not want to over-distend your bladder, but you do not have to go each time your bladder has a few drops. Your kidneys are making urine all the time, the urine flows out of the kidneys and go into the bladder when produced. If you are hydrated, then you can go to the bathroom each half an hour and have something to pee.
Most of the people will not want to visit the bathroom every 30 minutes ad wait until they feel the urge. Thus, the trick is to delay going to the bathroom until the urge is strong, but not too long. Gradually, you will become more sensitive to the signals that your bladder sends to the bran to overlook the little urges and pay attention as they get stronger.
In case you wake up in the middle of the night to urinate and this interrupts your sleep pattern, then limit the fluid intake after 6PM. In this way your kidneys will give you enough time to filter the excess water so that you can sleep through the night. Drink 16oz. of water in the morning to start hydrating the body.