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Drink Up! The importance of staying hydrated---

Now that summer weather has arrived, I don't know about you...but I drink a lot more water.  It might seem obvious at first, but have you ever considered why staying hydrated...all year important?  Here are some good reasons to consider drinking more water, if you are not one of those who are already working at increasing water intake.

Staying well hydrated, believe it or not, plays a role in pain management. For one thing, it can improve your mood. Many people with chronic pain suffer from anxiety and/or depression.  So, in a manner of speaking, water is a natural antidepressant.

When the human body is well hydrated, so is the cartilage of all the skeletal joints. By serving as a lubricant, there is less joint pain when lubrication is sufficient.

Headaches can be caused by dehydration.  Maintaining adequate hydration will increase the odds that these types of headaches will stay out of your life!

Water plays many other roles in human life and survival. Did you know that life cannot be sustained more than a few days if water is not available? Or the the NIH, New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Cancer Society report that the risks of colon, bladder and perhaps breast cancer are reduced simply by keeping hydrated?

Good hydration also helps to improve athletic performance. Seventy-five percent of muscle tissue is composed of water. When hydration is insufficient one may experience weakness, dizziness or even something more serious--electrolyte imbalance. This is very important if you are making efforts to exercise.

Other benefits of good hydration include promoting satiety, which is important when one is attempting to maintain or lose weight. Unwanted toxins and bacteria are more readily flushed out of our system when we are well hydrated. Conversely, when you drink enough water you allow nutrients to permeate your system more effectively.  I like to think of this as--" the bad guys out, good guys in."

Lastly, keep in mind that the largest organ in the human body is the skin.  Ample hydration allows the skin to maintain a healthy glow. It helps the skin to regenerate itself more effectively, and to regulate body temperature by allowing the skin to perspire.  That healthy glow is a good sign that things are going well on the inside!

If you are new to this--here are some tips to help you along:
Carry a water bottle everywhere you go to remind yourself to drink more water. (A personal note here: I prefer stainless steel water bottles because steel is inert. Plastic can leach into your water if you drink from a plastic bottle--and ingesting plastic is not particularly healthy.)
How much water should you drink? I prefer the old-fashioned eight to ten 8 ounce glasses per day. I prefer to take small sips on a regular basis as opposed to the "big gulp" approach.  Breaking Muscle, one of the sources I used for this post, suggests this approach: Drink half your body weight (in ounces)-for example, if you weight 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water per day.  Excessive water consumption can dilute the electrolytes in your system, and that can be serious.  So caution is advised!

Raw fruits and vegetables contain water; by increasing your intake you will increase your water consumption to a degree.
When you notice that your urine is nearly colorless--it is a sign that your hydration levels are good.

Sources: Breaking Muscle, BBC, American Cancer Society,USDA,wikimedia, pixabay


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