Drink up — hydrate the body

This week has been one of the hottest on record. Most of us have air conditioning making it difficult to imagine life before climate control. Perhaps the extinction of air conditioning would pose a greater threat to the US than any germ we have encountered in the past 50 years. Although the elimination of central air could make for interesting writing, (perhaps a science fiction novel), for now I would rather focus on the importance of hydration.

Water is essential for life. The human brain is composed of 95 percent water, lungs are 90 percent, blood is 83 percent, muscles are 76 percent, and bones are 22 percent water. The body is always performing a balancing act. A man’s body is approximately 60 percent water, while women are typically 55 percent water, and children are nearly 75 percent water. When we lose even 3 percent of our body fluids we can be dehydrated. Fortunately, the body knows what it needs to thrive and provides us with built in reminders, or signals such as a dry mouth or thirst.

The body needs lots of water for digestion, mental focus, recovery, and proper sleep. Water is necessary to carry out many essential functions, such as regulating the internal temperature and supplying cells with oxygen and nutrients. Water lubricates our joints, spinal cord, and cushions and nourishes our vital organs. Water helps to balance the pH of our bodies, flushes toxins from cells, eliminates wastes, and helps the brain make and use certain hormones.

Without water, dehydration can affect the body rapidly, while we may be able to survive for weeks without food, a person can only survive a few days without water.

In hot or humid weather, the effects of dehydration can come on quickly. The body needs to sweat to control its temperature, but when we are not properly hydrated, we cannot produce sweat and are in danger of overheating. Dehydration also compromises the blood volume which can cause a severe drop in blood pressure. Dehydration can also prevent toxins from exiting the body, causing widespread organ failure, which can lead to unconsciousness or death.

For most of us, drinking when we feel thirsty will keep us adequately hydrated. But if a person ignores these signs or cannot get water, their body will respond. The brain will send signals to the body to conserve water and urinate less. This will also slow the function of the kidneys. Other notable changes in the body, caused by dehydration may include: a headache, sluggishness, lack of energy, dizziness, confusion, heat cramps, stiff joints, fainting, heatstroke, or even seizures.

Surprisingly, there are optimal times to drink water, such as after waking up to activate our internal body organs, before taking a bath to lower blood pressure, 30 minutes before eating to help digestion and about an hour later to give the body time to absorb the food’s nutrients, and before going to bed to account for any fluid loss as we sleep.

It is rather amazing and sobering information on a subject that we usually don’t think about. So perhaps next time we are busily working and find ourselves getting thirsty we will take the time to satisfy that thirst to avoid possible dehydration.

“A man of wisdom delights in water.” ~Confucius

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” ~W.H. Auden

“In time and with water, everything changes.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, Aug. 28, from 9 a.m. to noon — the Produce Stand to Benefit the Poor will be open. The stand is located on the corner of State Route 705 and U.S. Route 127

Saturday, Aug. 28, the Versailles Pool closes for the season at 4 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 30, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. is a Memory Lane Dance held at the Greenville VFW. Music by Tom Everhart. Open to the public and $5 admission at the door.

Friday through Sunday, Sept. 3, 4 and 5, at 10061 Grand Avenue. Join the local veterans for weekend tribute to Rosie the Riveter, the iconic image of the American woman munitions worker called to enter the workforce during World War II. Learn more about what Rosie represents as these women workers and the women who served within the military are honored. The public is invited, military and veterans are urged to participate. There will be a campfire, camping, military vehicles, and rides, which can include transportation to the Versailles Area Historical Center & Museum and the Vets Club for karaoke. Times of events are not yet available.

Happy birthday wishes to Darold Pierron, Heidi DeMange, Randy Bashore, Lisa Heaton, Jane Pierron, Lynn, Brooks and Tessa Blakeley, Mary Jo High, Julie Poeppelman, Karen Westerbeck, Paula Darnell, Jim Millhouse, Emily Gilbert, Kathy Martin Gehret, Carol Frey, Cameo Monnin, Mary Anne Stucke, Crystal Buteau, Steve Borchers, Emily Mumaw, Shelly Grogean as well as, anniversary wishes to Lisa and Logan Hinkle (4), Nicole and Ben Klipstine (4), Leslie and Kevin Phlipot (9), Jamie & Chad Koesters (14), Kelly and Frank Evers (19), Jeffie and Scott Voisard, Carla and Gary Hummel (39), Karen and Jeff Keiser (45), Karen and Gary Dues (46), Susan and Phil McEldowney (46), Mary Jo and Jerald Hecht (47), Carmen and Charles Kingrey (51), Sherry and Richard Francis (57), Ethel and Carl McEldowney, Joanne and Joe Marshal (67), and Aunt Martha and Uncle John Magoto (67) and all those couples celebrating anniversaries but not named.

Please extend your heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Michael Krall (66), Ronald Keith Spitzer (83), William Swallow (85), Esther Schafer (93), and all those who have passed and those who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears. Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the sick, terminally ill, caregivers, all those who have lost loved ones, the lonely, the addicted, and all who are struggling.

As an act of kindness make a new friend. Everyone needs friends. Having friends means we are no longer alone. You can share more and do more when you have a friend. Friendship is a two-way street and worth the journey. A special hello to Gene Garber and Ron Griffitts — I enjoyed our conversation.