Edward woke up in the middle of the night. Dehydrated.
As he dragged himself out of his room to get himself a glass of water, he felt lightheaded, suddenly stumbled and collapsed. About 2 hours later, he opened his eyes to find himself in the emergency room, connected to drips, a monitor, and an oxygen mask. His mother and elder brother had heard the loud fall and had rushed him to the hospital almost immediately. A few moments later the doctor walked in and made his family understand that Edward had an acute kidney injury, which he suspected was a result of prolonged dehydration. What had happened?
He had spent the last few weeks perambulating the streets of Lagos in search of a lucrative job offer. After a 9-month post-NYSC stay at home with unencouraging responses to his email job applications, he decided to visit several companies of interest in person. Hours under the scorching sun with reduced water intake had left him dehydrated and, unknown to him, at risk of a gradual kidney shutdown
WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR WATER INTAKE MORE SERIOUSLY
60% of your body weight is water, while your brain weight comprises up to 90% water. Of all the nutrients that a human being should take regularly, water ought to top the list.
It’s recommended that the average adult takes at least 8 glasses (or 2 to 3 litres) of water per day. This would amount to an intake about four 75cl bottles of water, or up to six 50cl sachets of water daily.
WATER INTAKE HAS MANY ADVANTAGES
1. EASY DIGESTION of meals
2. WEIGHT LOSS —
Water makes you feel full without adding calories to your body. Taking foods or fruits with high water content (sch as cucumbers, water lemons, etc) would be of great benefit if you’re trying to manage your weight.
3. ENERGY BOOSTING —
With water, nutrients are delivered to our blood cells and muscle cells, resulting in less muscle fatigue.
4. SKIN RENEWAL —
Do you want your skin to look young and fresh everyday? You can be sure that a regular intake of water will guarantee a healthier and fresh -looking skin.
5. NUMEROUS HEALTH BENEFITS — such as:
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- preventing constipation.
- normalizing your blood pressure and heart rate.
- protecting your joints and body organs
DANGERS OF POOR WATER INTAKE
Heat stroke –
More than 20,000 Egyptian soldiers died from heat stroke during the Six-day War of 1967. This was because the Egyptian troops were following practices of strict water rationing.
– Seizures from electrolyte loss
– Kidney injury (or kidney failure)
– Anemia (low blood volume)
HOW CAN I KNOW THAT I’M DEHYDRATED?
If you have one or more of the following, you are most likely dehydrated:
- Deep yellow and strong-smelling urine
- Passing urine in very small quantities
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- A dry mouth and lips
- Dry eyes (reduced tears), sunken eye sockets.
- Dry skin
PEOPLE WHO ARE AT RISK OF DEHYDRATION INCLUDE:
▪️Infants and young children (eg. through diarrhea, and vomiting)
▪️People who work outdoors and are exposed to large amounts of heat (for instance, construction workers, welders, landscapers, and mechanics)
▪️People with chronic health conditions (like diabetes),
▪️Athletes (football players, runners, and cyclists)
▪️People who reside in high altitudes
TAKING A CUP AT A TIME
Many people find it difficult to take enough water regularly.
One easy way to establish a regular water drinking routine is to schedule specific times of the day when one would take water. For example, you could decide to ensure that you have a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning, and just before you go to bed at night. That takes care of 2 glasses of water. The other 6 glasses can be spread between breakfast, lunch and dinner time — before and after each meal.
You could set your alarm to two-hour intervals and drink water throughout your day. It may not be an easy habit to start, but it will be worth it.
Have you been drinking enough water? Share your thoughts.