The Importance of Hydration

I am often surprised at the small amount of water that people drink. Nothing else can take the place of that colossally important element.  To me, it’s always seemed vitally important to replenish our bodies with good ol’ H2O, so I’m going to attempt to lay out a few of the important facts as to why we need to start drinking more water.

First off, water makes up more than half of your body weight. Each cell, tissue, and organ in your body depends on water to function at its best, which makes water vital to good health. Becoming dehydrated is easy because when you go to the bathroom, when you breathe, and when you sweat, you lose water. In hot weather, of course, we lose water even more quickly. You lose water when you exercise and also when you’re ill (diarrhea, fever, vomiting, etc.).

Ultimately, when we don’t replace the water that we lose, we become dehydrated.

 

Some signs that you’ve become dehydrated:
according to FamilyDoctor.org

 

When it comes to how much water we should be drinking every day, there are varying opinions. It is commonly agreed that six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily is a good amount. However, it also depends on the individual. Most people can get away with 8 glasses a day, but very active people need significantly more. A good rule of thumb is to feel your thirst out. If you are thirsty, reach for actual water and not an alternative (juice, soda, etc.) because your body is trying to replace H2O, not merely liquid. Certain drinks, fruits, and vegetables, though, can count toward your daily water intake.

Additionally, to determine how much water you should be drinking, keep in mind that you need to factor in things like medical issues, pregnancy, being outside in hot weather, and exercising. You will (obviously) need to drink more water when you’re engaging in these kinds of activities.

Again, opinions vary on how much water each individual needs on a daily basis, but 64 ounces per day is a good place to start. Water needs are also related to how many calories you burn daily, and you need about 1 milliliter of water for every calorie you burn. This means that the very active individual who burns 3000-4000 calories every day would likely need 13 to 17 cups of water each day.

Once we are in the habit of drinking the correct amount of water, it is a habit not easily broken because the body craves it and benefits from hydration in so many important ways.

Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Water:
according to MindBodyGreen
  1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
  2. Promotes Weight Loss 
  3. Flushes Out Toxins 
  4. Improves Skin Complexion 
  5. Maintains Regularity
  6. Boosts Immune System
  7. Natural Headache Remedy
  8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains
  9. Puts You in a Good Mood
  10. Save Money!

 

Our bodies do amazing work for us, and there are easy ways to keep ourselves hydrated. So, let’s be kind to our bodies and treat them with the respect that they deserve. Hydration — along with good nutrition — can help us live a healthy lifestyle to the fullest.

Carrie Garrison lives in Ashland, Oregon, with her 12-year-old daughter. She loves to travel and has visited many countries across the globe. She is currently attaining her degree in creative writing. For the last six years, Carrie has professionally worked as a legal transcriptionist and editor for organizations around the world. She offers pro bono work to companies involved in ecological and cultural improvement studies. She enjoys creativity through writing, painting, theater, and dance. Involved in track in high school, Carrie continues to stay active through running and through Pilates. Reach her at carrie@germmagazine.com.

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