We’ve all know that staying hydrated is incredibly important. And we know we should be drinking water regularly throughout the day. But how long does it take for water to hydrate you?
Your body needs to be hydrated to properly perform several integral processes. It’s a necessity, even though some people insist that they can go a whole day without more than a glass of water. While it is true that the amount of fluid a person should be taking will vary from person to person, barely drinking anything throughout the day is definitely not healthy!
Some of the milder symptoms of dehydration include fatigue and weariness, especially when working out at the gym or going for a run (don’t forgot to hydrate mid-run!).
There are consequences for not being mindful of how much fluid you should be taking, and how much you take in. Although the more severe effects of dehydration don’t set in until you are well and truly hydrated, you do not want to put yourself in a situation where emergency rehydration is required.
Pro tip: The moment you feel thirsty, drink!
Your body knows what it needs, and if you let it get to the point where it is letting you know it is thirsty, then it is a sign that you are already mildly dehydrated. You have to know the importance of hydration to truly appreciate how important it is to ensure that your fluid intake is greater than how much you have lost.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
The need for hydration is important especially for people who are engaged in activities like running, cycling, walking, or any type of outdoor activity. While dehydration can occur easily over the course of a regular day due to many factors including environmental, athletes are much more at risk.
The consistent exertion over the course of running or any sports causes you to sweat, which in turn kick starts your body’s efficient cooling system; the evaporation of the sweat from your skin’s surface releases the heat that was produced by the exertion of your muscles.
- Smooth Bodily Processes
The replenishment of this fluid, however, is integral to for the proper execution of this process. This mechanism would not at all be possible without adequate fluid, because once you’ve lost more fluid than you have consumed you are in danger of experiencing dehydration and any more sweating you do would not be to your benefit.
It may be a bit obvious to state, but the human body is made up of over 60% water. Imagine losing a considerable percentage that is required to keep you standing tall and healthy. The result can be devastating.
Proper hydration is a key to ensuring all bodily processes run smoothly and without any hiccups, right down to your digestion and waste disposal processes. Every single cell, tissue, and muscle in your body needs to be hydrated to run at peak performance.
- Overall Wellness
Simply put, a well-hydrated body is a body that is performing its best. You have clear skin and high levels of energy, and you feel like you can think and focus much better. Yes, staying properly hydrated is a prerequisite for all these things! Similarly, if you want to be running at your best, then being properly hydrated is something that cannot be compromised on.
How To Recognize When you Need to Hydrate
A fairly obvious, if not perhaps too obvious, way to tell when you need to hydrate is when you feel thirsty. However, it is also good to know that if you’re feeling thirsty, then you may already be dehydrated! Good thing your body sends out several cues to let you know what it needs, and it is in your best interest to heed those cues, especially if you’re engaged in rigorous activities.
Some common symptoms that people may feel when they are dehydrated include:
- relatively milder cases of dry eyes,
- general sluggishness
However, if you let it go on, then these more severe symptoms can manifest:
- muscle spasms
- headaches or migraines
If you don’t address your dehydration issue as soon as you feel these symptoms, then even more serious effects can occur. Meanwhile, it is also true that you could put yourself at risk by over hydrating. Thus, it is also essential that you spread your fluid intake throughout the day and be mindful of how much you need.
How Long does Water take to Hydrate You
So, how long does water take to hydrate you anyway? Should you expect to feel the benefits the second the water goes down your throat? A study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research says 45 minutes to an hour or so.
However, the answer to the first question is “it depends” because the different bodily processes take different times to absorb the water into the body. For example, if you’re drinking water on an empty stomach, then your body is not busy digesting anything. Hence, the water could easily enter your bloodstream within five minutes!
But if your body is in the digestion mode, meaning you’re drinking water while eating, then you’ll have to wait much longer because your stomach will prioritize digesting that food. On average, then, it can take any amount of time from five to around 120 minutes for the water to enter your bloodstream and hydrate you.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes for water to enter your bloodstream and hydrate your body. What matters is that you are mindful that you need to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a way to recognize when you need to hydrate. However it is not a good thing to let it get to that point, so take in some fluids even when your throat isn’t dry. We understand that there are plenty of things to think of on a daily basis, but staying hydrated is one of those things that should be on top of the list.