Chapter 6: Hydration – Water Absorption & Water Loss

Chapter 6: Hydration – Water Absorption & Water Loss

How long does water absorption take?

Well the answer actually depends on a variety of conditions. On the average, it takes anywhere from 5 to 120 minutes for water to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream from the moment it is consumed. However, if you are consuming food while drinking the water, it may take upwards of 45 minutes before that same water is passed into the intestines because the stomach needs to digest the food that it ate first.

On a side note, not all water that a person consumes is fully absorbed into their system, especially if they drink a large amount of water. A large amount of it is cleared out in their urine, and some will even end up in a bowel movement.

However, there are two things that someone can do to amplify their water absorption and hydration. Number one is to make sure that you have enough salt in your system. Now taking in too much salt, especially iodized salt is never a good thing but not having the right amount can be even worse. Individuals who take part in a good amount of activity and cardio intensive activities, or do a lot of long distance running, excrete a large amount of salt when they sweat. Salt’s main function is to get water into our cells on top of getting nutrients from the small intestine. If the body is lacking in salt content, its cells will not be able to retain enough water along with helping get nutrients from the small intestine. Summarizing, if we do not have enough salt in the body, our cells will not be able to hold on to the adequate amount of water causing cell dehydration.

The second idea that will help ensure that we keep a sufficient amount of water in the body is to eat fiber rich foods. The fiber in foods will aid the body in retaining water in both the large and small intestines. This indicates that instead of just moving through quickly, the fiber will ensure that it takes its time moving through the body and using all of the water that it can.

How do we lose water?

The human body at all times is losing water. A normal adult loses about 2-3 liters/67-101 ounces a day and because of that fact we should be mindful of how the body loses its own water supply and so we know when and how to replenish it.

Besides sweating, we also lose water by relieving ourselves in the bathroom. Again, a normal adult will typically loses 1.5 liters/51 ounces of water a day through urination alone. Now if a person was to become sick and even more rapid fluid loss occurs from vomiting and/or diarrhea.

An additional large source of water loss that takes place in our bodies is through sweating. The human body is able to maintain its core temperature because of sweating. According to various studies an athletes can lose up to 2 quarts/53 ounces of water per hour through exercising.

Unbelievably, we even lose water when we breathe. As we inhale, our body adds moisture to the air as it travels through our air passages. Then as we exhale, the moistened air is lost to the outside surroundings. Dependent on the humidity of the air we lose around 300 to 500 milliliters of fluid a day when we breathe.

Additional means in which a person can lose water is through certain diets, crying, excessive stress and alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes a person go to the bathroom more. Therefore, an important point to remember when drinking alcohol is to drink 8 ounces of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume, as that should keep you relatively hydrated.

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