A healthy lifestyle starts with a proper nutrition and exercise regimen, but there is one other facet that is often overlooked: getting adequate hydration. Our bodies are made up primarily of water – about 70%, in fact, so it would make sense that we need to continue to replenish our reserves throughout the day, especially after working out.
Unfortunately, Americans as a whole are not drinking nearly enough water and are essentially in a constant state of dehydration which can lead to a whole slew of issues you don’t want to deal with. When we don’t drink enough water, we may have trouble concentrating, our blood volume decreases and our heart rate increases, our kidneys have trouble functioning properly, the probability of indigestion is much higher and you can get pretty severe headaches.
On the flip side, here are some positive results of increasing your water intake:
- Drinking two glasses of water at the beginning of the day helps get your metabolism going and rehydrates you from the night before.
- Drinking a glass of water with every meal aids in digestion and will help fill you up.
- Drinking a glass of water at night helps flush toxins out, thus aiding in kidney function.
- Increasing your water intake can help with weight loss because it can help increase metabolism.
- Prevents cramping and sprains.
- Improves skin health.
Ok, all of those results are fantastic, but how much do you really need to drink to reap the benefits? The rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you keep a water bottle with you at all times, it will help you remember to drink. For those of you who have trouble getting enough water because it just doesn’t appeal to you, try infusing your water with mint, cucumbers, lemon, lime or strawberries. Even a hint of flavor can entice your tastebuds enough to create an actual craving. Drink up – it’s good for you!
Coach Jenny Smith
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