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De-hydration Decoded for the Techno-Freaks!

Don’t be shocked: “In US water is the 2nd most popular drink (Confuseed? Eh. Hmm. ‘Soda is the first!’).” Often times we are negligent about the importance of water.

Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight (approximately 60 – 70%). Interestingly the human brain is made up of 95% water. Blood is made up of more than 90% water which acts as a transportation medium for nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Drinking water helps in maintaining the body fluids balance and regulating the body temperature. Even 1-3% drop in your body’s water supply can trigger signs of mild dehydration which can cause fuzziness, temporary memory recall issues, focusing your eyes onto the computer screen, etc. Trust me, your brain will not be able to process single digit additions. If for some reasons, you see some of these symptoms, its either due to stress or dehydration trigger. Moreover the fluid loss equation is incomplete without considering other factors like climate, workouts, altitude and age. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue

For most of the internal body process, including digestion, water serves as a lubricant. Water flushes toxins and waste from the body through urination and perspiration. Water also helps to reduce constipation and aids in bowel movements which ensures that wastes are removed quickly and regularly before they can become toxic for the body. Most commonly, headaches and other illness are the side effects of the toxic build-up. Drinking enough water will also lessen the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products quickly.

The old suggestion to drink eight glasses a day was nothing more than a guideline, not based on scientific evidence. Drinking the required amount of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and breast cancer by 50%. Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack.

As a thumb rule, here is my equation to get the right amount of for water for your body and lifestyle.

Minimum water Intake Required (in litres)= (Weight in Kgs/30) + (Age in years * 0.01) + (X * 0.1) + (k * 0.01),

where X is the water drain factor which is calculated by number of hours in front of electronic displays including TV, PC monitor, tablets, mobile phones, etc multiplied by 0.1; k is the weather coefficient which can be ignored. [If you need more precision ignore k if the the peak temperature for the day is upto 25 C, anything above 25 must be multiplied by a factor of 30 if you spend your day outside most of the time or multiply by 15 otherwise. Also I’m ignoring the humidity factor]

For example my weight is 63Kgs, my age is 32 and I sit in front of electronic display during weekdays roughly around 10 hours.

So, Minimum water Intake required for my lifestyle and body = (63/30) + (32×0.01) + (10×0.1) + 0 = 3.42 liters.

Once again, this is the ‘minimum’ water required for my body. This equation implies that for every individual the minimum water intake is different and directly proportional to their weight, age, time spend in front of electronic devices and weather of that location. I have derived this equation based on my 2 month continuous experiment on myself and from more than 30 folks who were ready to participate and provide data for my analysis.

Some less known interesting facts:

Study claims that “Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration”. [Guest, Professor of medicine at Stanford University.]

Water Can Help Control Calories. Drinking a glass of water will help you to stay in control of your eating, and therefore help to keep your weight in a healthy range. Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories.

Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

Most often people mistake soda for replacement for water. Soda actually worsens the situation. My equation is simple, 1 glass of soda requires an additional intake of 36 glasses of water to dilute all the toxins that the soda has created within the body. In simple words, Sodas are not good for the body and must be avoided.

How do you know if you are getting dehydrated? Here are some important symptoms of dehydration:

Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you’re already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when your are not thirsty, don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

Urine Color change: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color, orange color, darker shade of yellow or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water. The darker, the more you need to balance the fluid equation.

Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its big share of water.

Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, but in reality, it could be a symptom of dehydration. Having a glass of water [300ml] half an hour before having meals is good for digestion. I personally don’t prefer to drink water during meal intake but there is no scientific theory suggesting not to drink water during meal intake.

Tiredness and Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and gives you a boost in energy. Next time, when you feel tired or stressed, don’t forget to grab a glass of water immediately.

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