It’s easy to forget one of the most important components to your health: WATER. The University of Dayton faculty/staff Wellness Program shares seven reasons why you should drink up:
1. Almost 60 percent of the body’s weight is water, and hydrating helps take care of your overall health.
2. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. By maintaining these fluids, the body is able to better regulate functions such as digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation of nutrients, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrient, and maintenance of body temperature.
3. Water can help control calorie intake. While drinking water itself does not have a magic benefit on weight loss, drinking water can help people feel full longer and without adding extra calories to the diet. Additionally, foods that are high in water content look larger, require more chewing, and are absorbed more slowly, which also helps the body to feel full. Some of these foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
4. Water helps to energize muscles. If muscles are not properly hydrated, the fluids and electrolytes in them deplete, leading to muscle fatigue. Exercise performance is greatly reduced whenever muscles have been depleted of water and electrolytes, making fitness goals difficult to reach at times. Additionally, proper hydration during and after exercise will decrease muscle fatigue and increase energy.
5. Water helps keep skin looking healthy. Because the skin contains plenty of water, dehydration makes skin look more dry and wrinkled. With proper hydration, the dry and wrinkled skin will smooth out. But do not be fooled into believing that over-hydration will ease fine lines and wrinkles. Once the skin is properly hydrolyzed, the kidneys will take over and will excrete excess fluids.
6. Water helps the kidneys. The main toxin of the body, blood urea nitrogen, passes through the kidneys before being excreted as waste. By drinking plenty of water, the kidneys are able to flush these toxins out of the body. Those who chronically do not drink enough water may be at a higher risk of kidney stones.
7. Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Proper hydration keeps things flowing along the gastrointestinal track. Whenever the body is not properly hydrated, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration, which results in constipation.
Adequate hydration is extremely important to body function and overall health. Even mild dehydration can cause tiredness and fatigue. The best way to monitor if you are getting enough fluids is to monitor your urine output (once every two-four hours) and the color of your urine. The color should be similar to a manila file folder. In order to prevent dehydration, some general tips suggest drinking a glass of water with each meal and between each meal, as well as before, during, and after exercise. Some may be concerned about over-hydration, but this is a rare condition for healthy adults who eat an average American diet.