Temperatures are rising, longer days are here and there are more opportunities to get out and be active. That is all great for our health, as long as we are staying hydrated as well. Some experts believe as many as 75 percent of adults in the U.S. are dehydrated at any given time. If you might be one of them, here are some reasons why it is important to make sure you are drinking enough water and tips to help you get and stay hydrated.
Health Benefits of Water
First and foremost, water helps maintain hydration – essential for our organ and tissue function. A hydrated body allows the heart to more easily pump blood, as well as promotes waste removal to help strengthen muscles. Water also helps regulate body temperature, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, moisten skin and tissues, regulate our digestive system, cushion joints, and increase our metabolism and energy levels.
Our bodies are comprised of 55 to 75 percent water. 83 percent of our blood is water, while 73 percent of our muscles consist of water. Even body fat and bones contain water, 25 percent and 22 percent respectively. We can’t exist without water.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There is a golden rule in water consumption and one you have probably heard most of your life – 8 glasses of water a day (or 64 ounces). In reality, the amount of water we need varies based on where we live, how active we are and our body composition. In general, however, it is a good idea to strive for at least 64 ounces of water a day, unless otherwise directed by a health care provider. If you are very active or live in a hot climate, you may need more water. You may also need more water if you are sick, running a fever, or have diarrhea or vomiting.
Tips for Drinking More Water
Many people just don’t like the taste of water, or they simply prefer another beverage. Today, there are many ways to make drinking water easier, even if you aren’t a big fan.
Flavored Water – If you feel the taste of water is bland and then you may enjoy flavored water. At Hillcrest South, we recently introduced an infused water hydration station in the Café. From kiwi-strawberry to blueberry pomegranate, water hardly looks like plain water with bold colors and flavors. You can try this at home by keeping a pitcher of water with your favorite fruit, like lemon, in the refrigerator.
Keep it Within Reach – Whether you are working at your desk, in the car running errands or out watching a baseball game this summer, keep water within reach at all times and you will find yourself reaching for it more often.
Substitute One a Day – When it comes to drink choices throughout the day, find at least one opportunity each day to choose water instead of another beverage.
Set a Goal – If you are not already drinking 64 ounces of water a day, set a goal to work up to that amount. Write down how much water you drink everyday and reward yourself with something special – like a new water bottle!
Try drinking more water and notice how much better you feel!