Today, June 23rd, is National Hydration Day. This fun holiday was created to remind us of the importance of staying hydrated. You have probably been told to drink your water many times from various sources. But why does it actually matter? Let's find out why it is vital for your body to stay hydrated, and why summer provides the perfect opportunity to start.
The Human Body Needs Water
Water is the basis of life and our bodies are surprisingly made up of mostly water, about 55-60% to be exact. We need water for key bodily functions including thermoregulation, chemical reactions, transporting nutrients, and removing waste, to name a few. Just like with any vital nutrient or resource, if you don't get enough water, it can cause problems for your body.
The Benefits of Hydration
Staying hydrated can give your body many benefits including:
- Hydrated skin and less dry skin
- Improved sleep, cognition, and mood
- Increased energy
- Enhanced physical performance
The Negatives of Dehydration
If drinking adequate amounts of water helps your body, it only makes sense that not drinking enough will hurt your body. Various negative effects come along with being dehydrated including:
- Reduced muscle endurance and strength
- Higher risk of urinary tract infections and kidney stones
- Impacted mood, fatigue, and alertness
- Decline in cognitive function
In addition to these, on a smaller scale, dehydration can also cause light-headedness, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Basically, it's not good for your body to be dehydrated.
Water & Exercise
Drinking water is crucial for the proper functioning of your body in general, but is even more important when exercising. This is because when we exercise we sweat, which is a loss of water for the body. To stay hydrated, you have to replace the fluids lost while exercising by drinking water or another hydrating beverage.
Additionally, staying hydrated will also help you perform your best while exercising. Hydration is important for performance, injury prevention, and recovery for athletes, and the same goes for anyone physically exerting their body.
Studies have shown that dehydration can impact strength, power, and endurance exercise performance. According to the research, body water loss is directly correlated to an athlete's ability to generate upper and lower body anaerobic power. The bottom line is, if you're engaging in physical activity, you'll need to be hydrated to perform your best.
Drinking plain water will be totally sufficient for hydrating you before, during, or after moderate exercise. But if you are engaging in intense physical activity, or planning to be active for a long period, you might want to try a sports drink.
In addition to water, sports drinks typically contain carbohydrates and electrolytes— electrolytes are minerals that help maintain the balance of fluids in the body. And just like you can lose water while exercising and sweating, you can also lose electrolytes. Sports drinks will help replenish your electrolyte levels after physical activity— which will help your body maintain proper fluid levels—and refuel your energy.
And if you have goals to hit your macros and want to get your protein in while hydrating, try Clear Whey Isolate for a light and refreshing protein shake that will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Water & Heat
While drinking water is important year-round, it is especially crucial in the summer due to the hot weather and the sun. Humidity, heat, and sun exposure are all things that promote sweating and can cause you to lose more water than usual.
Additionally, summer is a time when many are physically active outdoors, which, as we just discussed, will make you sweat even more. This makes it easy to become dehydrated in the summer without realizing it.
So if you're spending lots of time outside this summer, make sure to be intentional about staying hydrated throughout the day. If you can't remember to drink water during the day, try using a gallon or half-gallon hydrator bottle to remind you to drink.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
So we know drinking water is important, but how much should we be drinking? Experts advise drinking about 11 cups of water a day for women, and 16 for men. We know what you're thinking, that sounds impossible. But you don't have to exclusively drink water to reach this hydration goal.
According to the experts, you can replace some of your water with more appealing drinks like coffee, tea, or flavored water, and still reap the hydrating benefits.
Take Home Message
Water is in many ways, our primary life force, and our bodies rely on it for tons of important processes. Staying hydrated is an essential part of maintaining proper health and feeling your best day-to-day. With summer officially here, remember to prioritize drinking water and hydrating your body so you can enjoy being active and spending time outdoors. Drink up!
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