Hydration: It’s good for the body – Part 1

What is hydration and why is it is important to drink water?

Water is essential to the survival of all living things. If you are a living being, then you need water to survive and prosper. A person cannot survive for more than a few days without water. Your body would not continue to function if you didn’t drink water, which is why you have to “hydrate” every day for optimal body functioning.

Being hydrated is the act of drinking a beverage that provides hydration, which includes a water supply to restore or maintain a balance of fluids. It is very important to drink water as it regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not properly hydrated, then your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience tiredness, muscle cramps, dizziness or more serious symptoms like passing out.

Dehydration is the process of losing or removing water or moisture. This condition is caused by the excessive loss of water from the body, which causes a rise in blood sodium levels.

 Signs of dehydration:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry lips or skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability and tiredness
  • Muscle cramps

The goal is to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, but it is even better to try to drink more than the suggested amount. When reaching for a beverage, your body will thank you if you decide on water 90 percent of the time. Realistically, however, you may not choose water every single time you are thirsty. Here are a few healthy beverage options or ways to hydrate your body.

  • Water
  • 100 percent fruit juice
  • Fruit or vegetable smoothies
  • 1 percent white milk
  • Electrolyte water such as Propel after exercising

Michigan State University Extension encourages you to always try to be mindful of selecting the healthiest beverage when you are thirsty. Remember, your body will thank you if you choose water to hydrate and not a sugary beverage. Please visit Why Drinking Water is the Way to Go from KidsHealth to learn more about why drinking water is the way to go.

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