Staying Hydrated Means Staying Healthy

Staying Hydrated Means Staying Healthy

Staying hydrated for your bodys’ health is something that’s easy to overlook. The general inclination is to only drink water when you feel thirsty but often that isn’t enough. Now that it’s summer it’s especially important to remember to keep up with fluid intake. Hotter temperature and a greater level of activity means a greater risk of dehydration. We do get a lot of the fluids we need from food but to supplement this the average person should drink eight glasses of water every day.

So what’s so important about staying hydrated? Without a proper level of fluids in your body the blood tends to be thicker and doesn’t flow through the body as easily. This has an effect on all of your bodys’ functions including greater strain on the heart, less oxygen to the brain and all-around lower energy levels.

When staying hydrated it’s important to remember that not all drinks are created equal.
Here’s some drinks to watch out for:

  • Drinks loaded with sugar: People who drink a lot of soda and other high sugar drinks often don’t realize how many extra calories they’re taking in and end up gaining weight without eating more. Make a habit of having one of those delicious coffee drinks every morning and after a month or so you’ll be wondering why your clothes don’t fit anymore.
  • High caffeine drinks: Drinks with caffeine such as coffee and tea tend to act as a diuretic and aren’t as effective as water in satisfying your body’s needs. They’ll help to hydrate your body but not nearly as effectively as water.
  • Drinks that contain alcohol: Alcoholic drinks not only don’t help to keep you hydrated, they actually put you in deficit mode. That headache you wake up with after having a few drinks the night before is often caused by being severely dehydrated.
  • Sugary sports drinks: Unless you’re exercising intensely for longer than one hour you don’t need sports drinks to replace electrolytes and the sugar content can often exceed the calories you’re burning during your workout.
  • Flavored bottled water: Great for hydration but don’t forget that each one contains over 100 calories. Even if you stay strictly on your diet and drink just one of these a day, you’ll gain 10 pounds by the end of the year. Maybe that flavor really isn’t worth it.

All of the systems in on our entire body from respiration to digestion depend on proper water intake. If you’re spending more time outdoors in the warmer weather, remember that you need extra water to keep up with dehydration. Staying hydrated means staying healthy and that’s an easy decision to make.

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