What is Hydration? - Definition, Facts & Benefits

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  • 0:00 What Is Hydration?
  • 0:39 Methods of Hydration
  • 1:47 How Much Water Is Enough?
  • 2:34 Benefits of Hydration
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

Learn about hydration and its importance to the body. We will look at the facts and the benefits of hydration. There is a short quiz to take at the end of the lesson to check your knowledge.

What Is Hydration?

Ever felt so thirsty that when you drank some water it was best thing you ever had to drink in your life? You just couldn't get enough water. Well this was likely due to you being dehydrated, which means that your body is in a state of not having enough water for it to function optimally. Signs that you are dehydrated include muscle cramps, confusion, rapid pulse, and headaches. In order to get your body back into its normal state, you had to go through the process of replacing the missing water or hydration. One way to know that you are no longer dehydrated, is that the signs of dehydration will disappear rather promptly.

Drinking water is hydration
Picture of person drinking water

Methods of Hydration

Hydration can be accomplished through a few different ways. One way is the way we were just discussing, which is simply drinking water. Another way to hydrate the body is eating ice chips. The ice chips will melt thereby supplying the body with water. Consumable other liquids provide water to help with hydration too. These would include drinks like coffee, tea, lemonade, soda, etc. Even the foods that we eat contain some amount of water. Some foods contain more water than others. Foods such as lettuce, some vegetables, and most fruits are mostly composed of water. So, eating is another way to hydrate.

Oranges are a great source for hydration since they are mostly water.
Picture of oranges

Sometimes we become so dehydrated that we must seek medical care, and they may choose to hydrate us using different means. The most common method used in the medical facility for hydrating people is administering fluids through an IV or intravenous line. This supplies water directly into the bloodstream through a vein, which hydrates the body even faster than drinking the water. Another method used in medical facilities is to inject fluids directly into the tissues of the body for it to be absorbed. This is the slowest process of hydration.

Healthcare professionals may inject fluids to accomplish hydration.
Nurse with syringe

How Much Water Is Enough?

Contrary to popular belief, there isn't a set amount of water that everybody should drink in a given period of time. The amount that it takes to hydrate one person is different from the amount that it would take to hydrate another person. Factors that determine how much water we should drink include body composition, activity level, and the amount of water lost through sweating and breathing.

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