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Why Is Hydration so Important?

By Brandi Goodman

Hydration

Proper hydration is key to overall wellness. Water is responsible for carrying nutrients to cells, regulating body temperature, and helping us recover after exercise and illness. It is necessary to drink water daily to keep ourselves healthy and thriving.

Replacing Water Loss

Our bodies have significant amounts of water inside them. During periods of physical activity, we lose some of that water through sweat. It is necessary to replace said water to avoid dehydration. Some believe turning to sports drinks is a worthwhile alternative because they’re marketed as hydrating beverages that replenish electrolytes. These are unnecessary and often still packed with sugar. Water is the natural sports drink we need.

Alternatively, we also lose water when we’re ill. If you’re vomiting or have loose stools, you need to drink water to replace what you’re losing. It can lead to dehydration if you don’t.

Dehydration Warning Signs

When the body does not receive the adequate water intake it requires, it puts you at greater risk of dehydration. Although initial symptoms may be mild, they can worsen quickly. If you’re dehydrated, you may feel:

  • As though your mouth is dry
  • Nauseous
  • Lightheaded or dizzy
  • As though your muscles are cramping
  • Confused or disoriented
  • Weak

Dehydration can even cause you to develop kidney stones and worsening kidney problems, as well as urinary tract infections. Drinking plenty of water each day can help reduce the possibility of these problems occurring.

Without enough water, the body can eventually go into shock, making it imperative that you rest and recover by sipping a glass slowly. Attempting to chug too much at once will be too much for your dehydrated body to handle. It is also advised that you visit the emergency room and see a doctor immediately if you are disoriented or dizzy in any way. You may need to receive fluids via an IV.

Boosting Joint Flexibility

Our joints require water to stay lubricated. Adequate fluid intake ensures joint flexibility and improved mobility. Fail to drink enough and you’ll undoubtedly find yourself feeling fatigued, sore, and unable to function to the best of your abilities. If your joints are ever feeling stiff, try drinking water to help loosen them.

Converting Food to Energy

The food we consume does not convert to energy on its own. Water is necessary in the process. It breaks down the things we eat so our bodies have an easier time digesting and processing them. It then gets converted into energy so we have the ability to get up and complete our daily tasks. Without proper water intake, our bodies have a much harder time digesting things and we tend to feel fatigued, out of sorts, sluggish, and may even have headaches and other associated discomfort because of it. You’re encouraged to drink a glass of water before or with every meal to aid in this process.

Maintaining Body Weight

In order to maintain body weight, you should be drinking the appropriate amount of water each day. Your recommended daily water intake will depend on several factors. Your age, current and goal weight, current health conditions, and whether you are breastfeeding or pregnant will determine how much you require. It was previously thought that you only needed approximately eight glasses of water a day. While this is a worthwhile goal to shoot for, every individual really has a different amount their body needs.

If you are attempting to lose weight, for example, then you will need large amounts of water every day. You should be consuming half your body weight in ounces of water per day to help your body flush out toxins and break up fat. If you currently weigh 250 pounds, you need 125 ounces of water to help yourself lose. That amount will lessen the more you lose, until you reach the amount you should be maintaining.

Promoting Healthy Skin

Our skin also benefits from daily doses of water. If you have dry, itchy skin, or notice wrinkles, dark spots, puffiness under your eyes, or an overall dull appearance, it’s time to add more water to your daily routine. While there are moisturizers and lotions on the market that will boost elasticity and appearance, simply drinking H20 is enough to get dry skin under control.

Tips for Drinking More Water

Many people believe that drinking water is the only way to stay hydrated. Although you should be drinking plenty of it throughout your day, it is also possible to boost your water intake through food. Many fruit and vegetable options provide significant water amounts, including:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Watercress

It is also wise to avoid sugary drinks, such as energy drinks, soda pop, and fruit juice. These can dehydrate your body and lead to additional health concerns. If you prefer flavor to your water, you can use fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices to infuse the water for improved taste. There are numerous combinations you can try to create the perfect drinks for your tastebuds, including cinnamon sticks and apples, cucumber and mint, berries, and more. Leave the infused water in a pitcher in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy.

You should also purchase a water bottle that you can keep with you throughout the day. This will help you turn to the zero-calorie drink rather than go searching for other beverages, such as coffee and soda pop from the break room or vending machine.

When you’re at a restaurant, choose water to go with your meal. Filling up on soda or adult beverages will only leave less room for the nutrition your body needs. You’ll be too filled up on drinks that will have you crashing quickly and have no room for the meal. Water is always the best beverage solution whether you’re out and about or at home. An added bonus is that drinking water will usually shave a few bucks off the final tab.

Stay Hydrated for Your Health

Water is a necessary component of a healthy life. Be sure you’re doing what you can to stay hydrated with plenty of water, fruit, and vegetable consumption. Your organs and joints will thank you. For additional help for your joints and overall well-being, visit The Joint Chiropractic, where the chiropractors are interested in your total health and can advise you on proper nutrition.

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