Is Your Indoor Air Causing Dehydration? Here’s What You Should Know
An astounding 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. However, contrary to popular belief, being dehydrated isn’t always a result of hot weather or simply not drinking enough water. In fact, in addition to the foods you eat, even the air you breathe can have an affect on your hydration levels. From the dangers of dry air to the shocking reality of what’s really in your indoor air, here’s how the air you breathe can play a major role in staying hydrated.
The dangers of dry air
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you keep the humidity in your home between 30 to 50 percent, as when it’s drier than that, it can actually increase your risk of experiencing an array of different health issues — including asthma, a painful and irritated sore throat, dry skin, not to mention that dry air can even lead to dehydration. In fact, one 2006 study found that urine (a common indicator of hydration levels) was actually more concentrated in workers who had been spending much of their day in a low humidity environment compared to workers who hadn’t. While this highlights the issues that dry air can bring, there are additional concerns to be aware of regarding indoor air as well — especially if you’re using the AC.
The shocking reality
In addition to dry air, unclean air is yet another concern, and because air conditioning can cause dry air, a combination of both could occur should your air conditioner filter not be clean. However, the air inside your home might hold more concerns. While many may be quick to associate air pollution with the outdoors, there’s actually a lot more going on with indoor air quality than one might realize. In fact, research carried out by New York’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found that a shocking 50% of around 200 detected chemicals were about ten times higher indoors than outdoors, highlighting that poor quality of indoor air can pose a threat to your health.
What you can do
If you’re experiencing dry air within your home or workplace, there are a myriad of things you can do to combat it and stay hydrated. For example, using a humidifier will help by increasing air hydration levels via forcing moisture into the environment, thus fighting the negative effects brought on by dry air. Maintaining cleaner air can be done easily, by regularly cleaning out the AC air filter, and opening windows to ensure fresh air flow. Additionally, ensuring you’re keeping yourself properly hydrated by drinking enough water and moisturizing your skin will also help.
Because the air we breathe has such an impact on hydration levels, it’s important to keep it as clean as possible while ensuring it’s not too dry — which can contribute to dehydration. By making use of a humidifier while also keeping the air clean by changing any air filters (such as the one for the AC), you can ensure you’ll have both hydrated and clean air while at home