Hydration and Your Health
Do you know approximately how much of the human body is made of water? The answer is about 60%.
And water is essential for your cells, tissues, and organs to function properly.
This is why staying hydrated is so important – because it has so many consequences for your health.
Of course, hydration becomes a popular topic in the summer when the temperatures rise, but it’s something to be aware of all year long – and here are a few of the reasons why.
- Water lubricates your joints: Cartilage, which can be found in your joints – such as your knees – is composed mostly of water (about 80%). If you are dehydrated – especially for long periods of time – it can lead to joint pain.
- Your body needs water to create mucus and saliva: If you suffer from dry mouth, dry eyes, or don’t produce much mucus, you know what this can be a problem. Dry mouth has been known to lead to cavities after a prolonged period of time, and dry eyes can become irritated and affect your vision.
- Water improves your physical performance: There’s a reason that it’s recommended that you drink water before, during, and after exercise – and that’s because, without it, you can experience fatigue, the inability to regulate your body temperature, and decreased motivation. And this is even more important during the summer months when the temperatures are high.
- Water affects your brain function and energy levels: Have you ever felt tired or experienced “brain fog” – even though you were well-rested? Studies have shown that hydration – even mild hydration – can negatively affect your brain function, leaving you to feel tired and not as sharp.
- Water may help prevent headaches: Researchers have seen a correlation between headaches and some migraines and dehydration. In fact, dehydration is one of the most common symptoms – so staying hydrated may help you lessen the frequency of headaches.
- Water is essential for the health of your skin: When you’re dehydrated, your skin can suffer. It may become dry, flaky, or wrinkly. Stay hydrated to avoid these things and help prevent premature aging of your skin.
- Water helps your digestive system: It may not be enough to say that water helps your digestive system – it’s crucial for it! Without enough water, you can experience digestive problems such as constipation and an acidic stomach – which can lead to heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers.
- Water assists in regulating your blood pressure: Yes, without proper hydration, your blood can thicken – which in turn can cause your blood pressure to rise.
- Water aids in preventing kidney damage: Your kidneys help to regulate the fluids in your body, and without enough water, you can develop kidney stones and other kidney-related issues.
So, while you now know a few of the reasons it’s important to stay hydrated – how do you go about doing it?
- Don’t wait until you think you’re dehydrated to drink water. Sip water all day long – especially when the weather is hot. Carry a reusable water bottle with you, so you always have water on hand.
- If plain water just doesn’t appeal to you, you add some flavor with fresh fruit or a bit of fruit juice.
- Eat foods that contain water. This is often fruits and vegetables (watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple, cucumbers, celery, zucchini, and leafy greens).
- If it’s too hot outside, stay indoors – especially during peak sun hours.
Staying hydrated is essential to keep your body functioning correctly. This summer, make sure you’re getting enough water to keep yourself healthy and feeling good!