Human Hydration – are we drinking enough on board ship?
WaterLogic are an exhibitor at Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo. Founded in 1992, WaterLogic provides purified water, free from bacteria, contaminants, and chlorine, to workplaces, schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and homes and more. Here they make the case for ensuring you drink enough on board cruise ships.
Despite the universal acceptance of the importance of hydration, people of all ages live their lives at levels of hydration significantly below what leading organizations recommend. What can we do to make sure we’re really drinking enough?
Most of usunderstand that hydration is crucial for our health. This has been proven through dozens of independent studies, showing at even mild levels of dehydration our physical and emotional abilities can be significantly affected. In fact, the functionality of our body, our cognitive ability and our mood are hindered to an alarming degree if our body’s total water content drops by as little as 1%.
Considering this you may find it surprising that across the world, at all stages of life, most live in a status quo of dehydration. This is seen across all ages from childhood through to becoming a senior citizen. Not only does this stop our body and our mind performing to the best it can, for those of an older age this can have more serious health implications.
Two obvious questions arise when you consider the extent of this problem. Firstly, why? Why are we not drinking enough water? When you review research that has been carried out across the USA and Europe you begin to understand that there are valid and natural reasons why this is the case. Secondly, and the more important question is, What? What can we do to help people of all ages drink more water? On board cruise ships, the question is threefold – Where? Where on board can a passenger go to ensure they remain hydrated?The purpose of this article is to take a detailed look at the research and advice available to provide practical answers to all these questions.
Why is the world dehydrated?
The average person in the UK only drinks 1.7 liters per day which is well below the 2.5 (for males) and 2.0 (for females) that is recommended by most leading health organizations.
One of biggest reasons behind this under consumption is that the human body can become dehydrated more quickly than most people think. It takes only a 2% loss of total water content for your body to start feeling thirsty. Once you’re at this point your body is already in a state of dehydration, increasing the likelihood of experiencing a variety of symptoms that have been scientifically linked to how hydrated you are, such as fatigues, dizziness, concentration difficulties, dry skin, muscle cramps, bad breath, mood swings, body aches, and headaches.
Dehydration in Adults
As we leave education, find careers and start families, many adults do not hydrate themselves to recommended levels. Data across Australia, USA, France and Germany shows that this is the case.
Keeping a high body water content can help you better regulate your body temperature and keep yourself cool so that you don’t overheat. Dehydration in hot temperatures can cause heat exhaustion which may result in headaches, nausea and heatstroke. Drinking the right levels of water can even help reduce obesity. A study carried out at Michigan Medical School, USA, has shown that there may be a correlation between being dehydrated and having higher body mass index (BMI) levels. This becomes less surprising when you consider that drinking water has been proven to reduce hunger and also temporarily improve your metabolism by 24-30%.
On board a cruise ship, it becomes even easier to become dehydrated. The sudden change in temperature for those travelling from colder to warmer climates doesn’t give the body a chance to adapt – when combined with laying in direct sunlight and drinking alcohol, a cruise becomes a melting pot for dehydration.
With the recent elimination of plastic products across many cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages, cruisers need to ensure that they have a source of water on board. A good way to ensure this is to carry around a refillable water bottle, filling it up in the cabin in the morning and then using water stations around the ship throughout the day.
Hydration, no matter what you are doing, whether that be regular day to day activities or holidaying on a cruise, is important to ensure you remain in good health.