As summer comes into full swing and you embark on your beach vacations and outdoor barbeques for 4th of July celebrations, it’s easy to forget about one important thing: water.
Even though your focus might be on pool activities, what to throw on the grill, and if you have enough sunscreen, make sure you and your family stay hydrated!
Why? Water affects so many different parts of your body – after all, the human body is around 60% water. Here’s a breakdown of how water impacts your body:
Skin: Did you know that water can affect your body inside AND out? One of the many ways skin protects your body is by preventing excessive fluid loss. We usually don’t even think about it, but we are constantly losing water through the day. The obvious reason for losing water is through sweating, but normal bodily functions like breathing and digestion use up water too! And all of that can show up in your skin. When you’re dehydrated, your skin looks more dry and wrinkly so drink up to keep that youthful glow!
Energy: Water can energize your muscles. We all know it’s important to drink water during exercise and working out, but the lack of water can actually make your muscles more tired. Not only does that slow you down, but it puts an unnecessary burden on your muscles. Remember to start drinking water before you work out! If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
Kidney Health: Your kidneys help you clean out toxins and flush out waste products from your body – but they only work well if you’re hydrated! The more water you drink, the happier your kidneys will be, and the better they’ll function. People who continuously don’t drink enough water are at higher risk for kidney stones.
If you’re well hydrated, your urine should be a clear or pale yellow color. If you’re dehydrated, your urine will be a dark yellow.
Digestion: We don’t normally think about digestion unless we have a stomachache but the process of breaking down food uses a surprisingly high amount of water! Ever experience constipation? It could be due to dehydration! If your intestines don’t have enough water, they’ll pull water out of the stool to help keep itself hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay regular!
But drinking a lot of water can be easier said than done, so here are a few tips on how to get in the habit of staying hydrated:
- Drink a glass of water with each meal
- Drink fluids that you like the taste of – all beverages are a source of water, just make sure you also pay attention to other factors like sugar or calories
- If you feel like snacking, try drinking some water first! Sometimes your body tricks you into thinking thirst is actually hunger.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – about 20% of all fluid intake comes from food
- Keep a bottle of water with you at your desk, in your bag, or in your car
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