The Importance of Staying Hydrated
Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.
To ward of dehydration, Dr. Seifter says that healthy people should get 1 gallon of water per day, but not all at once. While plain water is best for staying hydrated, other foods and drinks can help, too. Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you get each day.
Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables (watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce), and in soup broths.
Tips for Staying Hydrated:
1. Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce costs, carry a reusable water bottle.
2. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
3. Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
4. When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger.
5. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed.
6. Drink water when you go to a restaurant.
If you don’t drink enough water, you could become dehydrated, which means your body doesn’t have enough fluid to operate properly. Note that water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. Be sure to actively drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.