Drinking fluids are important in order to stay healthy and to maintain the function of virtually every system in your body. Including your heart, brain, muscles, digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and also helps to maintain body temperature.
Fluids carry vital nutrients to all of your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation. Proper hydration has the ability to reduce fatigue, improve endurance and even lower your maximum heart rate.
Health Benefits Of Proper Hydration
- Promotes cardiovascular health. Dehydration can lower your blood volume, this makes your heart muscle work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells. This ultimately can make everyday normal activities more difficult.
- Assists Muscles And Joints. When you’re sufficiently hydrated, the cells can provide adequate nutrients and also removes waste so you perform better. Cells that aren’t able to maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes can shrivel, which will result in muscle fatigue. Water is also needed for the lubrication of joints.
- Boosts Immunity. Our immune system is more than our antibodies. Any barrier to the outside world is considered an important part of our functioning immune system. Appropriate hydration ensures the adequate production of saliva and also keeps our skin from getting dry. Saliva has the ability to trap potential pathogens and destroy them before they even make it into our bodies.
- Cleanses The Body. Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in the urine. Staying hydrated may also help prevent urinary infections and kidney stones. It is possible that being severely dehydrated may cause your kidneys may stop working, causing a buildup of toxins in the body.
- Improves Brain Function And Mood. Your brain is heavily influenced by our hydration situation. Blood flow to the brain is governed by our blood pressure which is related to the amount of water that we drink. Without proper hydration, our blood pressure can decrease for periods of time, in return, reducing the blood flow to the brain. Drinking enough water can make us feel refreshed and it can actually improve our state of mind. Mild dehydration has the possibility to negatively impact moods.
- Improves Endurance And Fights Fatigue. Water intake is an integral part of most any workout, and it becomes even more important to prevent dehydration during longer workouts. Water combined with electrolytes helps maintain fluid balance, aiding athletic performance and prevents post-exercise fatigue and exhaustion.
- Proper Digestive Health. Your digestive tract needs water intake to function properly and move food waste through the body. Dehydration can cause chronic constipation because when you have dehydrated your stools become drier, harder and much more difficult to pass.
Tips to increase your fluid intake and gain the benefits of water:
- Drink a water-based beverage with every snack and meal.
- Pick beverages you enjoy drinking as you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
- Consume fluids before you are thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is dehydrated already! It is helpful to use the color of your urine as an indicator to know if you are drinking enough. Urine should be a pale yellow color.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables overall. The high water content will add to your hydration. Approximately 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
- Keep a bottle of fresh water with you in your car, or at your desk. Aim for reusable bottles, and make sure they are BPA-free.
- Track your intake. Visualizing your intake on paper or by using an app can help motivate you to maintain your fluid requirements.
- If you tend to drink caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, and sodas), try to alternate decaffeinated beverage intake throughout the day. Caffeinated beverages and alcohol are diuretics, which increase the excretion of water from the body rather than hydrating it.
The benefits of hydration are plentiful as mentioned in the examples listed above. Staying hydrated has the power to give you more energy, improve cardiovascular health and will even help you combat your next cold.
Since water makes up more than half of your body weight, don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.