Keeping our bodies hydrated is critical in maintaining good health and overall well-being. Water makes up the majority, nearly 60%, of our bodies and plays vital roles in our bodily systems. Here are some reasons on why hydration is so important:
1. Water regulations body temperature. When we sweat, which is part water, our bodies are able to cool down. When we become dehydrated, our bodies have a hard time producing this sweat which can lead us to heat exhaustion. It is especially important to keep hydrated in our desert climate!
2. Water helps flush waste out of the body. Without proper hydration, our kidneys cannot do their jobs properly. Waste and acids can build up in our kidneys. If we are chronically dehydrated, we can do permanent damage to our kidneys!
3. Hydration helps with our digestion. Water is used to help break down foods and absorb nutrients. Without enough water and hydration, our digestive system cannot function properly and lead to constipation or other issues.
There are many ways we can incorporate habits to ensure we keep hydrated, even in the arid climate of Tucson. First is to of course drink enough water. The U.S. National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. This research has evolved far past the eight cups of water a day I grew up hearing. It is important to drink water even when we are not thirsty. Headache, dry mouth, and dark urine are all signs that you are already dehydrated. Also, the inclusion of water filled foods in your diet can help you stay hydrated. Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and other fruits and veggies all help us to stay hydrated. Next, limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol can help us. These drinks can have a diuretic effect, leading us to output more fluid than we are taking in. Lastly, be aware of hydration during exercise, especially if outside. As mentioned before, we use a lot of water when we sweat. After a grueling workout, it is important to replace this fluid loss and even sometimes add in electrolyte replacement to our hydration drinks. Paying attention to the areas where we lose water, or where we could improve our water consumption can help us keep our bodies hydrated and strong!