It never ceases to amaze me how modern life seems engineered to make us neglect what is truly important. One of the things that millions of Americans neglect is also one of the most vital and primitive of biological functions: drinking water.
Human ingenuity has produced a vast assortment of beverages that serve as alternatives to a nice, clean, refreshing glass of water. I needn’t list them all here; we are all familiar with them. Most of them contain some proportion of water, but they also contain a number of harmful ingredients and chemicals that we could really do without!
What is really surprising is the number of common health complaints that can result from not drinking enough of the stuff. Some of the symptoms are obvious, like increased thirst and dry mouth, but some of them are not at all obvious:
- Tiredness or sleepiness
- Dry skin
- Few or no tears
But that’s just beginning. Acute dehydration can result in:
- Dizziness or light-headedness that does not allow a person to stand or walk normally
- An abrupt drop in blood pressure when a person tries to stand up
- Rapid heart rate
- Poor skin elasticity
- Lethargy, confusion, or coma
What is also interesting is that by the time you experience thirst or dry mouth, you are already in dehydration territory. So be proactive. When you see a water fountain, take advantage of it. When you’re at a restaurant or in the drive-through, order water instead of pop (coke, for those of you south of the Mason-Dixon.) When you’re at home, keep a glass of water nearby and make a habit of refilling it frequently. And before rushing to the doctor to cure your headache or dry skin, try a pint of good, old-fashioned, God-given H20!
Do you have any tips or tricks for increasing your daily water intake? If so, please share!