Staying Hydrated Is Essential To Having A Healthy Body
When we think of hydration, we often think of sweaty athletes pounding sports drinks after a tough workout. What we don’t always think about is the absolute need for everyone, regardless of their athletic ability or activities, to stay hydrated. In fact, children, seniors, and those with chronic health conditions are among the most likely to experience dehydration. Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to stay healthy, staying hydrated is essential to having a healthy body.
Luckily, National Hydration Day is just around the corner on June 23, right after the first day of summer. And because we tend to spend more time outside in the summer, now’s a perfect time to ensure we’re sufficiently hydrating. Here are some facts and tips to get you started!
Why Do We Need Proper Hydration?
Simply put: the human body is more than half water, and every bodily function relies on water to operate effectively. Our bodies use water to help us digest food, eliminate waste, maintain body temperature, and lubricate our joints. Without water, our bodies would not work properly. In fact, humans can survive without food for longer periods than they can without water.
Symptoms Of Dehydration
Dehydration is a condition whose symptoms may be easy to overlook, especially if we’re busy doing other things. That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms and hydrate as soon as possible once recognized. These often include:
- Increased thirst or dry mouth
- Unusual sleepiness or fatigue
- Decreased urine output
- Dark yellow-colored urine
Moreover, when dehydration reaches critical levels, symptoms can become more severe, including:
- Increased heart rate
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The amount of water you need to drink is mostly based on individual body chemistry, height, weight, age, and physical activity. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average man needs approximately 15.5 cups per day, while the average woman needs about 11.5 cups per day. Of course, it’s best to consult a medical professional and/or nutritionist to find the amount of water that’s best for you.
Avoid Sodas, Caffeinated And Sugary Hydration Drinks
There’s an entire industry devoted to sports and energy drinks that are marketed towards convincing us that they will help us stay hydrated and healthy. Unfortunately, a lot of that is just marketing. Many of these drinks, while possibly providing some additional electrolytes our bodies need when we need hydration, many of them have extra food coloring, artificial flavoring, extra sugar, and a host of other ingredients that aren’t good for us. Additionally, it’s best to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, either in coffee, tea, or other caffeinated energy drinks, as they can lead to greater levels of dehydration when consumed. In reality, there really is no substitute for drinking water.
Need more tips for getting enough water in your day-to-day life?
Please call Pain and Spine Specialists in Maryland at 301.703.8767, or 724-603-3560 in Pennsylvania to schedule a consultation or use the contact form on our website to send us a message.