The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Temperatures are rising, now that summer has arrived, and the need to stay hydrated is as important as ever.  Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good health and optimal weight. However, most of us go through our days dehydrated without even realizing it.

Dry lips, and a feeling of thirst are surefire indicators that we are starting to dehydrate.  As common as these symptoms are, they are not to be ignored.  Your body knows exactly how much hydration it needs, and when. It is our job to listen to those cues.  It is also important to understand that not all liquids are created equal. Sugary or caffeinated drinks will do the opposite of hydrating us.  Sticking to herbal teas, and best of all, water, is what will allow your body to stay optimally hydrated throughout the day.

The benefits of drinking water and maintaining your body well hydrated are plentiful.  Drinking water throughout the day allows our bodies to naturally flush out toxins and bacteria.  Studies have shown that people who drink plenty of water are less susceptible to kidney and bladder infections because these organs are being cleansed of bacteria build-up via the water we drink.

Drinking water also helps to combat fatigue by aiding in how we metabolize enzymes and by carrying nutrients to our cells.  It has been shown to curb digestive issues and combat constipation.  Hydration via water also helps to clear up acne and other skin conditions.  Water can help our skin to maintain an optimal moisture balance from the inside out giving it a more youthful, radiant appearance as well.

People who stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, have also been shown to have a reduced incidence of environmental allergies.  When our bodies are dehydrated, more histamines are created.  The more histamines in our bodies, the more likely we are to suffer from an inflammatory, allergic response such as itchiness, sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

Drinking adequate amounts of water will also assist in weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight.  Water helps to flush out toxins and unwanted by-products of the foods we eat.  It also is a healthy replacement for drinks filled with empty calories. If you require a bit of taste to your water, consider making your own flavored variety.   Research has also shown that dehydration may sometimes present itself as hunger.  Drinking water will not only rehydrate your body, but send signals to your brain that you are satiated and no longer in need of an extra snack.

Water is your body’s principal chemical component. Without adequate consumption, we aren’t allowing our bodies to function as intended.  We lose water every day by sweating, breathing, and urinating.  It is up to us to ensure that we replace what is being lost.   According to the Institute of Medicine, the adequate water intake of an adult male should be approximately 3 liters of water per day, and 2 liters per day for an adult female. Climate and physical activity are also determining factors, so if one lives in extreme heat or is very physically active, then more water would be optimal.

A simple way to make sure you get enough water, is to carry a container or bottle of your choice with you throughout the day.  Taking sips here and there make it a lot easier and less daunting of a task than drinking entire cups of water at a time.  Opt for filtered water when possible, and take a look at our blog post on suggestions for creating your own, healthy flavored waters for a change of pace.  Cheers to your health!

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