Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The importance of proper hydration

I was super thirsty after my run on Sunday and I couldn’t drink enough water. I finally became sufficiently hydrated by 6 pm that night and then spent most of the evening running to the bathroom to pee. Why is hydration so important? Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.  You lose water through sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom. When you don’t replace the water that is lost, you become dehydrated.
So, how do I know if I am dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying
Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act. It can be hard to recognize when you’re dehydrated, especially as you age. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
If you are concerned that you may not be drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated.
Water is your best bet for staying hydrated. You can also drink fruit and vegetable juice, milk and herbal teas. It is best to limit caffeinated beverages as they can cause you to urinate more frequently. You can also get water through fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. I personally do not drink fruit juice as there really is no valuable nutrition in it. Eating a piece of fresh fruit provides you with fiber, vitamins and water so that’s always a more ideal item to choose over fruit juice.
I keep a 24 oz bottle of water on my desk at all times and make sure that I drink that entire bottle by the end of work each day. I also drink a large cup of water when I first get up the morning  and lots of water in the evening when I get home from work.

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