Stay Hydrated This Summer!!
It seems that summer is finally upon us! As temperatures rise and we Minnesotans take advantage of every minute we can outdoors, most of us are aware that it's important to stay well hydrated in the heat. True as this may be, the importance of hydration is not only seasonally dependent. Staying well hydrated is a critical component of optimal health year round.
A critical piece in understanding why water is so important is that the human body is composed of roughly 60-70% water. The body needs to maintain this balance to carry out basic functions such as maintaining blood pressure and heart rate, transporting nutrients to the body and removing harmful toxins. Unfortunately, many of us are in a state of chronic dehydration do to over consumption of caffeine and alcohol in combination with lack of proper hydration.
Here are some of the ways in which your body uses the water you take in:
* Skin: Water helps keep the skin moist and supple and reduces the risk of aging.
* Weight: Water replaces beverages that are high in calories and sugar, as well as flushing toxins and excess water weight.
* Muscle: Water aids in the transport of oxygen to the muscles so they are prepared for exertion.
* Brain: Water aids in body regulation, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain which boosts mood and strengthens cognitive function.
* Joints: Joints are surrounded and protected by water. Staying hydrated keeps the joints lubricated.
* Belly: Water aids in digestion and elimination, keeping you more regular.
So how much water should you be drinking? Current guidelines suggest that half of your body weight in ounces is appropriate. So, a woman weighing 120 lbs. should be consuming around 60 ounces of water per day. If it's there, you'll drink it, if it's not, you won't. Also, if you have a hard time with plain water, spice it up by adding citrus fruits, berries, cucumbers or mint.