Our bodies are made up of 60% water and keeping yourself well hydrated is essential to maintaining your health, including promoting organ function, digestion and carrying nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. Let’s explore the importance of H20 and helpful tips for staying hydrated.
Why is hydration so important?
Water is vital to our health and helping to maintain normal bodily functions, from regulating your temperature to helping your kidneys remove waste and toxins. Without the proper amount of fluids, you may experience headaches, fatigue, constipation and more dangerous symptoms like dehydration.
A study has also linked drinking enough water to a lower risk of developing chronic diseases and helping slow down the aging process. If you’re working on weight maintenance goals, drinking more water can help you feel fuller and support your muscles and joints during exercise. Drinking enough water also improves your brain performance and mood by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain and helps you balance emotions and reduce stress.
Staying well hydrated helps you:
- Digest food more efficiently
- Flush waste from body
- Move nutrients into the cells
- Lubricate joints
- Promote healthy skin
- Improve mood, sleep and brain function
If you’re working out, fighting an illness or a fever or are outside on a hot day, make sure you up you water intake to stay properly hydrated and replace any water lost through sweat.
How much water should I drink every day?
The amount of water that is needed daily varies from person to person, based upon your body size, activity level and overall health. On average, most experts suggest men should drink around 15.5 cups of water daily and women should aim for 11.5 cups.
It can be challenging to make sure you are getting enough liquids every day. Try these tips to up your water intake:
- Beginning your morning with a full glass of water
- Drinking water with each meal
- Bringing a refillable bottle with you when you’re on the go
- Adding fruit, lemon or cucumbers to flavor your water
- Add foods to your diet with high water content
What are the best hydration sources?
The best source of hydration is plain H2O, but you can also incorporate unsweetened sparkling waters including seltzer, club soda and mineral water into your routine. Black coffee and unsweetened tea can add to your daily totals as well, but try to limit them to one to two cups a day. It’s best to avoid sweetened beverages including soda, coffee drinks, juice and energy drinks because they contain increased sugar amounts and other additives.
There are also many foods that have naturally high-water content that can help increase your daily intake, including:
- Celery, cucumbers and lettuce
- Strawberries, oranges, peaches and pineapple
- Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon
- Broccoli and squash
What are the signs of dehydration?
Without enough water, you can quickly become dehydrated, where the body is losing more fluid than it is taking in. While this can be dangerous at any age, it’s often more serious in adults 60 and older. This age group can be more prone to dehydration due to certain medications, less water in their bodies and decreased appetite and thirst. Knowing the early symptoms of dehydration can help you remedy the situation quickly to avoid more serious complications.
Warning signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Intense thirst
- Dry mouth
- Dark colored urine
- Less frequent urination
- Dizziness or headache
If you experience these signs of dehydration, drink plenty of water, not juice or soda as they can upset your stomach. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect severe dehydration.
Proper hydration is part of overall good nutrition and helping your body function at its best. To support your nutrition goals, Mom’s Meals offers a variety of delicious and convenient meals that are designed to nourish and strengthen your body from the inside out.