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The Importance of Hydration

Updated: July 13, 2020

With the hot weather this time of year, it is important to stay hydrated. If you are unfamiliar with the dangers posed due to hot weather, check out our article on heat safety.

One very important way to keep your body in good health and to avoid the risk of heat-related injuries is staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Water plays an important role in your overall well-being and is essential to good health. The body is made up of 50-75% water and loses nearly 10 cups of water through breathing, sweating, and other bodily functions. It is essential to replenish the water in the body!

The Medical Implications of Dehydration

There are many bodily functions that would not work properly or at all without water. The role of fluid in the body include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Water is needed to rid the body of toxins, especially those lingering in kidneys and digestive tract. In order for the kidney system to work properly, it is dependent on water.

The brain, which controls nearly every one of the body’s processes consists of over 75% water. The lack of water will impede the ability to flush chemicals and toxic metals from the nervous system, resulting in delayed and distorted signals, which experts believe may be linked to nervous system disorders.

As you make sure you consume the needed water to keep your body fully hydrated, it is important to be aware that certain conditions and medication can work against you. Medication such as antihistamines, chemotherapy agents, diuretics (Furosemide and Spironolactone are examples), laxatives and medication to treat high blood pressure can dehydrate. In addition, uncontrolled diabetes can also cause dehydration due to excessive urination or the need for the body’s water to assist the processing of insulin.

Quench Your Thirst with these Options

Plain water is a good hydration drink, but other drinks that are low in sugar can be good for you as well. Children especially can be hesitant to drink water. Instead of sugary drinks like soda, make a homemade ice tea with your favorite tea, lemon, and maybe not add the sugar. Infused water is another great option, especially when you add citrus and herbs. (Click here to check out some recipes.) But one thing that especially feels great on a hot day and has a good amount of water content are, smoothies! When your feeling thirsty and hot, blend together some of your favorites fruits with ice and yogurt, for a great cool drink.

5 Tips to Help You Drink More

If you think you need to be drinking more water, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

1. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag
2. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
3. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste but be aware of the extra sugars or artificial sweeteners.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
5. Alcoholic beverages do not hydrate but in fact, dehydrates. If drinking an alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water after each drink.

Remember, if you become thirsty, your body is already telling you that you have become dehydrated.

 

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