The normal heart rate at rest is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute – (1.00 to 1.67 Hz).
Your heart is a fantastic pump that beats 100,000 times every 24 hours pumping 6,300 gallons of blood per day through 96,000 miles of blood vessels. It beats tirelessly every moment of your life from your early days in your mother’s womb to the end of this lifetime. Can you even conceive of any of the very latest machinery that could ever match that power, consistency, and constancy? ─ It’s mind boggling! By staying hydrated – i.e. drinking more water than you are losing – you are helping your heart do its job. A hydrated heart can pump blood more easily, allowing the muscles in your body to work even better.
Dehydration causes strain on your heart. The amount of blood circulating through your body, or blood volume, decreases when you are dehydrated. To compensate, your heart beats faster, increasing your heart rate and causing you to feel palpitations. Also, your blood retains more sodium, making it tougher for it to circulate through your body.
The question is how much water should you drink to stay hydrated?
Americans seem to carry bottled water everywhere they go these days. In fact, it has become the second most popular drink (behind soft drinks). But water lovers got a jolt recently when we heard that a new report had found that the benefits of drinking water may have been oversold. Apparently, the old suggestion to drink eight glasses a day was nothing more than a guideline, not based on scientific evidence.
While we may not need eight glasses, there are plenty of reasons to drink water. In fact, drinking water (either plain or in the form of other fluids or foods) is essential to your health. Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves.
When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, and coffee — anything but alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration.
Some situations where you should drink more water include:
- If you are exercising or doing other physical activities.
- If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- If you are showing signs of dehydration, such as dizziness or weakness.
Body Fluid Loss Symptoms
When you are dehydrated, your body will literally begin to dry out. You may notice that you don’t have to urinate as much as normal or not at all. You may be thirsty, but this is not always the case with elderly patients. Your urine will be dark yellow. Your eyes mouth and lips will be dry. You may also experience muscle cramps caused by the loss of electrolytes through urine, diarrheal stools, vomit or sweating. Your skin may lose its elasticity. If the fluids in your blood drop too low, it can affect your kidney function, liver, bowels, joints and muscles. Your eyes may have a sunken look. A baby’s soft spot or fontanel may be sunken as well.
Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% to 65% of water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, we would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 83% water; blood is 94% and lungs 85%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen.
Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. Pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through the tap or bottle water.
Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
Hydration Affects Energy Levels
Water consumption directly affects energy levels. Just a 5% drop in body fluids can cause a 30% reduction in energy; the problem is not uncommon. By some estimates, two-thirds of the population suffers from some degree of chronic hydration. Rather than drink more water, many people turn to stimulants like caffeine and sugar to artificially boost their energy, quickly leading to a downward spiral. Caffeine and sugar are diuretics and cause your body to lose water, resulting in a further loss of energy and a dependency on artificial energy.
Hydrate your Brain
Dehydration can affect your state of mind and general sense of wellbeing. You may feel drowsy, listless, tired, lacking in strength, irritable or have difficulty concentrating. You may also have headaches, experience dizziness, feel light-headed or confused. In severe dehydration, patients may become comatose.
Water by far is the most studied chemical compound and is described as the “universal solvent” for its ability to dissolve many substances. This allows it to be the “solvent of life”. It is the only common substance to exist as a solid, liquid, and gas on Earth’s surface. Water is the most important resource in the world. Here are some facts about water that you may not know.
- 7% of the fresh water on Earth is trapped in glaciers.
- 30% of fresh water is in the ground.
- 7% of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable.
- Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day.
- 70% of the human brain is water.
- Each day, we lose a little more than a cup of water (237ml) when we exhale it.
Mysteries of Water
With researchers decoding DNA and smashing open atoms, you might assume the science of everyday water, life’s most basic substance, is well understood. But recent experiments probing have resulted in how water molecules link together have come up with conflicting results.
Water was thrust into the scientific limelight recently, when a team of scientists led by Anders Nilsson from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center presented evidence that water is more loosely bound than previously thought. Water makes up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and is the main component ─ about 80 percent, of all living things. But it is far from ordinary.
Water is the only substance on Earth whose chemical formula has entered the vernacular. We all know H2O, even if we don’t understand precisely what it means. But if it sounds simple, the reality is different. This common, seemingly boring substance baffles and confuses anyone who peers at it for long enough.
Water breaks all the rules. Since the 19th century, chemists have developed a robust framework to describe what liquids are and what they can do. Those ideas are almost useless at explaining the weird behavior of water. Its strangeness underlies what happens every time you drop an ice cube into a drink. Think about it for a moment: in front of you is a solid, floating on its liquid. Solid wax doesn’t float on melted wax; solid butter doesn’t float on melted butter in a hot saucepan; rocks don’t float on lava when it spews out of a volcano.
Ice floats because water expands when it freezes. If you’ve left a bottle of fizz in the freezer overnight, you’ll know that this expansion is a powerful force: strong enough to shatter glass. This seems like a small and inconsequential curiosity, but this anomaly – one of water’s plethora of strange and unique behaviors – has shaped our planet and the life that exists on it. Scientists now admit they don’t understand the intricacies of how water works.
Our blood even contains roughly the same percentage of salt as the ocean, where the first life- forms evolved. They eventually brought onto the land a self-contained store of the sea water to which we are still connected chemically and biologically. Little wonder, then, that water carries such great spiritual significance in most religions, from the water of Christian baptism to Hinduism’s sacred water of life.
At its most basic, water is a molecule with one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, bonded together by shared electrons. It is V-shaped (with an angle of 105 degrees) and is charged positively near the hydrogen atoms and negatively near the oxygen atom. Water molecules are naturally attracted to and stick to each other because of this polarity, forming a hydrogen bond.
This hydrogen bond is the reason behind many of water’s special properties, such as the fact that it’s denser in its liquid state than in its solid state (ice floats on water). Water is the only substance that occurs naturally as a solid (ice), a liquid and a gas (water vapor).
Information drawn from several sources
Messenger Spirit – 2009
Staying Hydrated — Staying Healthy: American Heart Association