Men Need To Man-up And Start Drinking More!

There are a lot of men out there with a severe drink problem, but we’re not talking about drinking too much here, but drinking too little. But before you crack open a bottle of your favourite tipple in celebration, we must point out that this has absolutely nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with water, one of life’s most precious resources.

Dehydrated ManFact: 75 – 95% of People are Chronically Dehydrated

It’s estimated that between 75 and 95 percent of people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it. By and large, women can become dehydrated easier than men because they have less body fluid to lose.

But in general men tend to physically exert themselves more in work and at play. Therefore a man needs to keep close tabs on his hydration levels, particularly those guys working outdoors all day under a hot sun.

The health benefits of a hydrated body are HUGE. Not only does a well hydrated man feel better, but he thinks and functions better too. Drinking enough water on a daily basis is the most natural way to restore and maintain energy levels – bar none!

After all, water is the body’s chief chemical component. It makes up around 60% of total body weight. What’s more, every single system and major organ in the human body depends on water in order for it to function properly and keep us alive and well.  To put this into some perspective, if bodily fluids drop by just 15% – we can die.

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How much Water should a Man Drink in 1 Day?

There are guidelines on how much water (and other fluids), a man should consume over a 24 hour period, although this will vary depending on the his size, lifestyle, health, climate, and so on. As a rough guide, based on a healthy male living in a temperate climate and working indoors, he should consume around 3.7 litres of ‘total beverages’ daily. The more water in his total fluid intake the better. These hydration guidelines are from The Institute of Medicine.

More Health Benefits of Hydration

A 6-year study published in on May 1, 2002 by the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that people who drank more than 5 glasses of water daily were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart failure during the study period than those folks who drank less than 2 glasses.

Drinking the equivalent of 5 glasses of water each day is said to decrease the risk of colon cancer by up to 45%. And drinking 2 litres of pure water daily reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer by 79 percent (around 1% of all breast cancer cases are in men).  In addition to the more serious health benefits above, a hydrated body is a less hungry body, and that’s got to be a good thing with so many obesity-related health issues gripping the world right now.

To summarise the True Value of Water Consumption

  • Feel better
  • Function better
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Increased and sustainable boost in energy levels
  • Reduced risk of numerous illnesses
  • Suppresses appetite (and all the health benefits that can derive from that).

The Health Harms of Dehydration

There are a number of health-related concerns associated with not drinking enough fluids daily, particularly water. Just a 5 percent drop in body fluids can trigger a whopping 25-30% loss in energy levels within the majority of people, but that’s not all.

Dehydration can also slow down the body’s metabolism by up to 3 percent. A slow metabolic rate assists weight gain, so staying hydrated is good for weight loss and weight maintenance. Not drinking enough water and being in a constant state of mild to moderate dehydration can also cause the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Decreased urine output (less toxins get flushed from body)
  • General sluggishness or fainting,
  • Confusion (loss of focus)
  • Inability to sweat.

So when a man comes home from work totally knackered and perhaps a bit crabby, it might have little to do with a hard day at the office and more to do with him being in a constant state of dehydration, though he’s probably never joined the dots – until reading here 😉

How do I know if I’m Dehydrated

If you wait until you’re thirsty, then you’ve already allowed your body to enter into the early stages of dehydration. A quick and effective way to check for dehydration is to monitor the colour of your pee.  The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. A man that is well hydrated will have clear urine, or that which is just a faint tint of yellow.

Another good test is the skin-pinch which checks the skin turgor. This is a check for turgidity, a term used to determine how quickly the turgor snaps back into normal position. This simple test is best done by firmly pinching the skin on the back of a hand or the lower arm. Another way is to look in the mirror, raise your eyebrows, and watch the speed in which the brow returns. The slower the skin turgor takes to return (decreased turgor), the more hydrated you are.

Severe dehydration, usually caused by illness of over exertion when there is no access to fluids, may need medical intervention so as to get hydration levels back to normal. When in doubt, consult a medical professional without delay.

3 Reasons why Men are Constantly Dehydrated

There are basically 3 reasons why the majority of men are in a constant state of dehydration.

  1. They’re not aware they are dehydrated
  2. The forget to drink at regular intervals
  3. They find drinking plain water too boring to bear when not thirsty.

Being mindful of points 1 and 2 above, and taking action, is a great starting point.  With regards to point 3, try squeezing the juice of a fresh lime or lemon into your water. This not only makes it more refreshing and tasty, but also helps to stimulate digestion and eliminate the toxic waste that builds up in the gastro-intestinal tract.

You can read more benefits of drinking lime water here.

So there we have it. If you’re in good health all in all, yet still frequently dehydrated after reading this page, then it’s because you choose to be. The benefits of being hydrated really are a no-brainer once armed with all the facts.

If you’re not sure whether you are getting enough fluids or not, then try this Hydration Calculator. It will give you some idea on how to estimate your hydration needs.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of 50ish.org, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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Readers Comments

    Tom Cat says:

    Putting aside the sun, overexertion, and illness, one of the fastest ways to reach dangerous levels of dehydration is to drink too much alcohol. Alcohol pushes more fluids out of the body than it takes in. So you might drink a pint of beer but more than a pint of beer will come out with alcohol. This doesn’t happen with water and other drinks that are not diuretic.

    TC



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