Water is a life-giving nutrient and is essential for our organs to function properly. Humans are made up of 60% water (about 78% for babies) so it makes sense that water is critically important for good health.
Water allows our bodies to:
- regulate temperature
- flush out wastes
- lubricate and cushion
- and provide protection to our spinal cord and other tissues.
Keeping properly hydrated can also help our skin and brain function. We do get some needed water through foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, but drinking fluids is the primary means to stay hydrated.
You have probably heard the recommendation to drink eight-12 ounce glasses a day to prevent dehydration.
Dehydration, even for short periods, can cause:
- a decline in cognitive capacity and mood changes
- and many other problems.
The rule of thumb to drink at least 96 ounces of water applies year-round – in hot and cold climates. Certainly, we know the importance of drinking water in summer, when exercising, or when sick, but even the winter and indoor dry air requires us to be diligent in staying hydrated.
With our busy schedules, we can often forget to drink enough water. We have to train ourselves to drink water regularly.
Some tips to staying hydrated include:
- waking up with a glass of water
- carrying a water bottle or two when at work
- keeping a few bottles in your car when running errands
- freeze a bottle to take on outings
- serve water during meals
- and substitute sugary drinks with water with or without a wedge of fruit.
Whatever the way you choose, you must remember to keep hydrated, so you make an important contribution to your health!