Is Hydration Important?

Why do I need to hydrate? Is it important if I skip some glasses of water during the day? 

It actually is very important to remain hydrated! Drinking water helps regulate your temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. In fact, you can even go a few extra days from getting your regular adjustment if you stay hydrated!

Becoming dehydrated will begin the downfall of your body, and you will see it begin to shut down. A good tell tale sign that you are dehydrated is your urine being dark yellow or amber, as well as dry mouth, headache, confusion, restlessness or becoming dizzy/light headed. Dehydration is not inherently serious for many, you could result in sluggishness and headaches, however if you become severely dehydrated you could have much more serious problems such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, seizures or even death. You'll find complications like these are more prevalent in younger children and older adults, but no one is immune to the effects of dehydration. 

Remaining hydrated to proper levels will offer many benefits in your body. Some may seem obvious like lack of dry mouth, but there are also some other benefits you wouldn't expect. Increasing energy,  brain function and organ function are some of the benefits of drinking enough water. Generally, to remain hydrated to the levels recommended, the average person needs 6-8 glasses of water per day. However, this isn't true for all. You can become dehydrated more easily if you are exercising frequently, in hot weather, have conditions such as kidney stones and bladder infections, are sick and have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea or are pregnant or trying to lose weight. If these examples apply to you, make sure you are increasing your water intake, not only with plain water, but any other sources could contribute to your hydration. 

For example, eating foods that are high in water such was watermelons, tomatoes and lettuce will help increase your intake. Sports drinks such as gatorade or powerade will help keep you hydrated, but will also increase your sugar intake, so it's important if you choose to drink these you consume them in moderation.

 If you find it difficult to keep up and drink the proper amount of water to stay hydrated, try these tips that help me and my family everyday to drink water and stay hydrated: 

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Try a reusable water bottle to keep costs down and save the environment. Carry this with you always including to the stores, in the car, and even to appointments. 

  • If you dislike the taste of plain water, try spicing it up with naturally flavored water with fruits. For example When I get bored of plain water I try licing up lemons and limes to alter the taste. 

  • If you are working out, whether it's in the AC or the heat, make sure you drink water before, during and after. 

  • When you begin to feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Many times our body is trying to tell us that it is thirsty but we misconceive it as hunger. Drinking water before eating will also help with many weight loss plans. Water will help you feel full faster, therefore allowing you to eat smaller protein sizes. 

  • If you have trouble remembering during the day to drink water, try making a schedule for you to drink water. For example, drink a glass when you wake up before getting ready, then at breakfast, then at lunch, at dinner, before you go to bed, or even a small glass at the beginning of each hour. Setting a schedule like this will help train your body. 

  • When dining out, Try to order water before any other drinks. Not only will it help keep you hydrated in the hot weather, it's free and will help you feel full faster. 

You are losing more water than you’re taking in, even if it doesn't feel like it. Activities such as  breathing, using the bathroom, sweating and especially when you are physically active will expedite the rate at which water exists in the body. Water makes up more than half of your body, so it is very important to make sure we replenish that which we lose. 

If you find it hard to drink enough water each day or want to find alternate ways to consume the appropriate amount, ask about receiving a nutritional consult with Dr. Shell. This will allow her to sit down and discuss with you your daily activities and habits, to see where you can intake more water. Call the Cranford, NJ office today to schedule! 

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