The Importance of Proper Hydration

Written By Tracy & Keim Chiropractic LLC on June 27, 2019

graphic of splashing water and ice cubes

Warm weather and long days are hallmarks of summertime, but they also highlight the importance of proper hydration. During the summer, it’s particularly easy to get dehydrated. Hot sunshine, outdoor activities away from a convenient water source, and more physical activity increase the chances that you aren’t getting enough water. Focusing on proper hydration can help you to enjoy your summer safely. The benefits of adequate hydration are numerous, but here we’ll highlight just five ways in which water helps your body to function at its best, as well as ways you can make sure you’re getting enough water for your needs.

How does water help my body?

1. Flushes out toxins

Your kidneys have the job of cleaning waste from the blood and getting rid of toxins that enter the body. To do that effectively, they need water to filter the waste and flush it out of the body. If you aren’t sweating when it’s warm, or if your urine is dark rather than pale and clear in color, it means your body doesn’t have enough water to effectively rid itself of toxins.

2. Promotes healthy weight

It seems strange that we could confuse thirst for hunger, but sometimes we misinterpret our body’s signals and think we need to eat when what we really need is a glass of water. Making sure you get enough fluids can help you to feel full, reach a healthy weight, and maintain that weight once you reach it—which comes with a whole host of other health benefits.

3. Increases energy

Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise not only helps you to replace fluids you may lose through perspiration, but also increases your endurance and energy. Regularly doing even low-intensity exercise in combination with drinking plenty of water can reduce fatigue and increase your energy on a day-to-day basis.

4. Helps the heart

Water affects your blood volume, which means it plays a part in determining how hard your heart needs to work. When you’re dehydrated, your blood volume is lower, and your heart must work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This can make exercise and even everyday activities more difficult. Staying hydrated makes it easier for your heart to make sure every part of your body is getting the blood and oxygen it needs.

5. Enhances muscle and join function

Water helps to lubricate joints and reduce inflammation so that you can move more easily. Water also works both inside and outside the cells of your muscles, providing nutrients and removing waste. Drinking enough water makes a difference in reducing pain and enabling you to move freely and comfortably.

How much water does my body need?

Most people should aim to get between half and one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Certain medical conditions can make it advisable to drink less water than this however, and exercise makes it important to drink more, so talk to a health professional to get a better idea of how much is right for you.

What’s the best way to stay hydrated?

Plain water and non-caffeinated drinks that are comprised mainly of water, such as herbal teas, are generally the best way to get your fluid intake each day. However, water-rich foods (which include most fruits and veggies) also count. Snacking on chunks of watermelon, cucumber slices, and fresh tomatoes when you feel peckish can give your body a bit of a fluid boost along with needed nutrients.

Try to hydrate gradually throughout the day rather than gulping down a big glass of water after going without for several hours. Taking in liquids steadily throughout the day allows your body to use them more effectively. If you have trouble remembering to stay hydrated, try linking your water intake to things you do regularly. For example, make a habit of drinking a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning to jump-start your digestive system and enhance your energy; drink a glass of water before each meal to prevent over-eating, and drink a full glass instead of just a sip when you take medications, vitamins, or supplements.



Posted In: General Health Hydration