Health Tips for Overall Well-being from Hope Wellness Clinic

Staying Hydrated: Why Water is So Important

Hydration is achieving the optimal level of hydrogen ions in the body through the absorption of water into the body.

So how do we know if we are adequately Hydrated and how do we stay at that level?

If you become Dehydrated there are many symptoms that will appear from darkening of the urine to decreased output, headaches, muscle cramps, elevated blood pressure, tired and sleepy and of course the dry mouth.

Why Do We Need Water? 

Over 60% of your body is made up of water and it is vital to every function of the body.  It is the foundation for build and transporting nutrients throughout the body as well as the solvent in which many chemical reactions occur and removing waste from the body.

Benefits of staying hydrated:

  1. Hydration protects against disease- “Why is water important?” Its role in disease prevention is so important that proper hydration is a useful tool in preventing a assortment of health conditions and diseases. Staying hydrated may protect you against developing kidney stones, constipation, asthma, urinary tract infections, coronary heart disease, and possibly some cancers.
  2. Hydration can prevent headaches- Dehydration is a very common cause of headaches. In many cases, rehydrating will relieve you from a headache. In Many people, dehydration can also trigger a migraine, so be sure to keep your water intake regular as you can if you are prone to getting migraines or headaches.
  3. Boost your brainpower- When you drink more water, you may progressively increase your cognitive performance. People drinking water during cognitive tasks performed much better than those people who did not drink water during the tasks. These results have been found in both adults and children.   Even mild dehydration can impair cognitive function in the short-term.  So next time you need to focus, take a test, or use all your brainpower, keep a glass of water next to you and keep sipping.
  4. Boost your mood- Those who drink more water also tend to have better moods. Interestingly one study found that when people who repeatedly drank less than 1.2 liters of water per day increased their intake doubling it to 2.5 liters per day, the participants experienced dramatically less confusion, bewilderment, fatigue, and sleepiness. In comparison to those who regularly drank two to four liters of water per day who were then limited to one liter per day, the reduced water intake led negative effects on mood, including decreased contentedness, calmness, and positive emotions.
  5. Improve physical performance- During physical activity, our bodies use up a lot of water. So, stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise helps to guard your body from impairment, and to help you to perform better. Proper hydration can decrease fatigue, improve endurance, lower your maximum heart rate, and much more. It can also help you to reduce lactic acid build up allowing you to be less sore after exercise.
  6. Help you to lose weight-. Are you having anxiety and struggles with your weight loss efforts? Boosting your water intake may help you achieve improved results. Studies show that those who lose more weight when dieting have also increase their water consumption. Those on weight loss diets who drank .5 liter of water before each of the three regular meals for 12 weeks lost 4.6 more pounds on average than people who did not drink the extra water.

So, the real question is “How Much Water Should You Drink a Day”?

The volume of water you need to drink will hinge on numerous factors, such as your age, gender, activity level, and much more.   A good general guideline that is promoted when it comes to recommended daily water intake: Women should drink at least 2.21 liters per day and men should drink 3 liters per day. However, this does not consider the individuals variables. I prefer to recommend that my clients try to achieve 60% of their body weight converted into ounces. For example, a man or women that is 100 pounds will need minimum of 60 ounces of water a day with a sedentary lifestyle.  If they are very active and outdoors in the heat they may need to double or even triple that if they are extremely rigorous.

Increase your daily water intake as you increase your activity level. Be sure to always drink filtered water to avoid toxins found in tap water or Phyto-estrogens found in certain plastic bottles.

Stay happy healthy and wise and enjoy hydrating for optimal health.