Importance of Hydration

Staying hydrated is a vital aspect of healthy living.  Whether you’re an athlete training in the gym or sitting at home on the couch, you must hydrate throughout the day – every day – in order to reap the maximum benefits that water gives.  Water is an essential building block of life and our body is made up of nearly 60% of it.  Water helps support the function of every system in our body, including the muscles, brain, heart, and every other major organ. It also helps carry nutrients to our cells, prevent constipation and flush bacteria out of the body. Drinking water is so important for these reasons and so many others!

Benefits of Drinking Water

Performance Enhancement

Drinking water before, during, and after exercise helps improve your physical performance at the gym and for competition. We use up a lot of fluids during exercise and it’s crucial that we replace them.  With proper hydration, you can help your body improve your level of endurance and reduce fatigue.  It can also help lower your maximum heart rate and allow your muscles to be loose and less sore after a hard workout.

Weight Loss

An increase in water intake has also been shown to accelerate weight loss.  If you drink water before you eat a meal, it can help you digest your meal faster and more easily – it will also fill you up, so you eat less.  If you’re on a diet you should include an increased level of water consumption to your routine.  Fluid intake will expedite fat burning and help you to reach your target weight goal!

Enhanced Mood and Cognitive Performance

Drinking at least 2.5 liters of water per day has been shown to increase overall mood levels, including serotonin, along with decreased fatigue and confusion. Drinking water can enhance your brainpower as well.  Studies have shown a positive correlation between water intake and enhanced cognitive tasks such as test taking and problem-solving.  It is important to maintain your level of hydration in order to be able to perform mental tasks at a normal to a high level.

So, how much water should I be drinking every day?

How much water you drink each day is dependent upon many things such as your age, gender, and level of activity.  Yet the general guideline for women calls for at least 2.21 liters and for men, at least 3 liters per day. You should also increase your water intake as you become more active.  Athletes should be drinking more water than those who do not train at a high level, therefore should bump up from the general guidelines.  It is also important to drink filtered water and to watch out for toxins that may exist in tap water.

Don’t Wait Any Longer!

As you age, you begin to stop feeling the urge for thirst, making you neglect to drink as much water.  It’s important that we continue to hydrate especially in our later years to help ourselves look AND feel good.  Drinking water can help prevent many diseases and keep your skin looking radiant!  To help remind yourself to drink water, it helps to keep a water bottle next to your side all day long so that it is constantly in your sight.  Setting goals for water intake are also helpful in progressively increasing your hydration levels.  The journey to becoming a healthier you can start today so pick up that water and start sipping!