The human body is more than two-thirds water and maintaining that ratio for proper hydration is important to health. Dehydration is a common problem because many individuals do not consume enough water. Some individuals mistakenly believe drinking any fluid is enough to keep them hydrated but certain beverages, including any that contain caffeine or alcohol, actually have the opposite effect.

Dehydration has a negative effect on many body functions and can lead to serious problems if the condition is severe. Common symptoms include dry skin, insomnia, an inability to focus and headaches. Without enough water, the body has trouble properly regulating temperature and can become hypothermic. Other serious conditions include high blood pressure and kidney damage.

It is important to drink water throughout the day before the brain signals thirst. By the time an individual feels thirsty, the body is already dehydrated. It is more difficult to catch up on water intake than to maintain a state of hydration.

Like water, milk and juice are fluids that hydrates but their high sugar content means individuals must refrain from drinking too much of either fluid. Water is by far the best option. Through the circulation and lymphatic systems, water aids cell transportation throughout the various organ systems delivering nutrients and oxygen needed for healthy brain function, healthy joints and elimination of waste.

Traditionally, experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. Some now believe it is better to base fluid intake on body weight. They recommend drinking one-half ounce of water for each pound of body weight. Individuals who drink caffeinated beverages should counterbalance the caffeine with an equal amount of water.

When the temperature is warm outside, individuals should avoid consuming sport drinks and carbonated sodas. Cold water is best because it can be absorbed more easily. The cool temperature has the added effect of cooling the body when it is overheated.

Drinking alcoholic beverages interferes with mechanisms that regulate fluid levels. When an individual becomes dehydrated, the pituitary gland secretes Antidiuretic hormone, a chemical that prevents urination to preserve water. Alcohol blocks the production of Antidiuretic hormone and increases urine output. This is why it is common for individuals to become dehydrated after a night of drinking. Heavy drinking can clog the liver with fat and make it less efficient because it fails to get the nutrients it needs.

Individuals can tell if they are dehydrated by looking at the urine. It should be clear and colorless. Low urine output and a dark yellow color are sure signs of dehydration. Increasing fluid intake can make the bladder hypersensitive at first. After an adjustment period, urination becomes less frequent but the output increases as the bladder calms down.

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to maintain good health. Most people can improve health simply by increasing their daily intake of hydrate fluids. Proper hydration will ensure every organ system is receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs for proper function. Additional benefits include maintaining body temperature and blood volume as well as sufficient lubrication of joints and aiding the body's natural ability to eliminate waste and toxins. For more Information please go to: You will receive a free healthy food list.

Author's Bio: 

Jonathan Washington was born In Chicago, Illinois In high school he was the starting point guard for the 1995 Chicago City Championship team which also featured NBA All-star Kevin Garnett and Professional European Basketball Star Ronnie Fields. He is famous for losing one hundred pounds in eight months, and bringing his body-fat down from forty-four percent to currently seven percent. He is the owner of fitness keys consultants and he is also a Diamond level expert author, expert trainer and life coach. He has published articles online on Self-Growth, Ezine, Newsvine, Yahoo, NBC, Go articles and may more online news sites. He has helped people worldwide Improve physically, mentally, and spiritually.