Hydration 101

Why Is Hydration Important?

Hydration is important for your overall health, regardless of your daily activity level. A large percentage of your body is made up of water, and proper hydration means ensuring that your body maintains that level of water, as we are constantly losing water. Water helps your body regulate temperature, transport nutrients to organs and tissues, transport oxygen to cells, remove waste, and protect your joints and organs.

Hydration, however, is more than just drinking water. Proper hydration is essential for concentration and attention to detail, whether you’re running a marathon, or a marathon of errands. Even a small decline in dehydration levels can result in a decrease of mental and physical performance.

Why Does Dehydration Happen?

Your body looses water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breath. You can loose quicker when it is hot out or you are exercising. When you are sick you can loose a substantial amount of water and if you do not replace it you can become dehydrated.

An estimated 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration most often occurs when you do not drink enough water nor regularly enough. On a day-to-day basis, most people won’t realize they are dehydrated until they start to feel the symptoms and by this time, the damage of dehydration has already set in. Dehydration can result in muscle fatigue, cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea, decreased performance level, and rapid heart rate.

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

Different recomendations make it confusing to know what your daily water intake should be, ussually stating 6-8 8oz glasses of water per day. Though this is a good goal and a base standard diffrenent people need diffrent amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy individuals sticking to this and then drinking when you are thirsty should be enough.

Another school of thought is that you should be drinking half your body weight in fluid ounces. Say you way 130 lbs, then you should be making sure to get in 65 oz of water a day. This is just where you start, for every hour of exercise you should drink another one to two glasses of water to replenish your fluids.

Tips For Staying Hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
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