Drink up! Why water is vital to your health

Did you know your muscles and brain consist of about 75% water, and that your blood is about 82% water? That’s why it’s important to keep your body sufficiently hydrated to ensure it functions at its best.

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. That's easy to remember, and it's a reasonable goal.

Water maintains skin tone, flushes out toxins, and enables the kidneys to filter wastes effectively. Water boosts the body’s ability to digest food and convert it into energy.
Adequate hydration also helps to regulate internal body temperature, and some studies say it can ease back and joint pain. When hydrated, the body does not have to work as hard to pump blood and deliver sufficient oxygen to the muscles.

Symptoms of dehydration
Thirst isn't always a reliable early indicator of the body's need for water. Many people, particularly older adults, don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated. That's why it's important to increase water intake during hot weather or when you're ill.

The signs and symptoms of dehydration for an adult:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Fatigue
- Dizziness
- Confusion
- Cause of dehydration

Apart from the obvious reason - not drinking enough liquids - dehydration can also result from sweating through illness, excess heat, exertion, or hot flashes, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, food poisoning, and stress.

Healthy habits to help hydration
By drinking water immediately after waking up, your body is releasing toxins, which begin the movement in your bowels. Add a little squeezed lemon for a mild daily detoxification method. Also, check your fluids. If your urine is unusually strong smelling or dark, you may be mildly dehydrated. Urine should be straw yellow in color. Also, low urine volume over the course of a day is usually associated with dehydration. Some say you should visit the bathroom every three to four hours during your day.

Tap or bottled water?
If you choose bottled water, check the source. Natural mineral water is a healthier choice. In general, the best water filters involve blocks of carbon and are often combined with reverse osmosis filters. Under-sink filters are typically more effective than those that attach to the faucet.
Remember, water is your best choice to stay hydrated: it’s calorie-free, caffeine-free, inexpensive, and usually always available.

Take your hydration seriously and start feeling better today!