The Importance of Hydration
Bonnie Pace, MS, CNS, LDN
Although it can still feel like winter is still here, spring has officially begun! Drinking water is more natural when the weather is warm, your body sweats easier and you feel thirst more frequently. But if you consider how dry your skin (your body’s largest organ) gets in colder weather – it highlights how much you need to hydrate in winter.
There are many other health reasons to increase your water consumption. One study showed that there was a direct correlation between increasing water consumption and decreasing your intake of sugar, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. (Plain water consumption in relation to energy intake and diet quality among US adults, 2005–2012 – An – 2016 – Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics – Wiley Online Library) All without dieting… . just add water!
Did you know that water makes up 75% of the brain and 83% of our blood? Your body needs water to operate at its best. Other benefits of staying hydrated include helping your body better absorb nutrients, protecting and cushioning your bones and vital organs, maintaining your temperature, and eliminating waste. On the other hand, symptoms of dehydration can include fatigue, headaches, and problems with mood and focus.
So how do you hydrate? Start by striving to reach general recommendations – 64 ounces a day. If you currently are drinking less than half of that, then start with a couple of 8-ounce glasses a day and try to add more each day. There are ways to easily get to that, including decaf herbal tea (caffeinated beverages are vasoconstrictors and can have the opposite effect) and no sugar added seltzer waters. Slice up fresh fruit such as oranges, lemons, and pineapple and add to your water for a punch of taste. Many foods also have a high water content, such as soups and stews, melons, strawberries, and celery.
So do your body a favor and drink your water!
If you have questions about how to better drink or eat for better health make an appointment with Bonnie for one on one nutritional counseling based on your body and your goals.