Why Hydration Is Important

food for a long time, we must drink water regularly. Even still, studies say that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

Wow! I know that when I worked in the gym, the main reason we had to call 911 was to treat dehydrated seniors. 

Why is water so important for the human body? First, it cleanses the body, moving and removing toxins by carrying them to the liver and kidneys for removal. It also helps you sweat and release toxins through your skin. 

When it comes to the brain, water increases mental focus and clarity by helping red blood cells carry oxygen more efficiently to the brain. Pretty important stuff! When a person is exhibiting symptoms of dehydration, they’re usually a bit loopy, confused, dizzy and may have a headache. 

Meanwhile, our skin needs us to stay hydrated to help keep it smooth and slow down the aging process.

Water helps to lubricate joints. Think of the discs in your back. There’s an analogy that the disc is like a jelly donut. That “jelly” in the middle gets dried out when we don’t drink enough water. It is painful and debilitating. 

What else does water do? It helps with the absorption of glucose, fatty acids and amino acids to get into your blood. It also helps balance the electrolytes; super important for heart function.

Water helps thousands of chemical reactions take place daily in the body, while also assisting with digestion to aid in motility and a softer stool.

Now that you TRULY know and understand how important water consumption is, how does eating whole foods help you? Let’s take a look. Whole foods, which include plants and fruits, contain 60 to 95% water. The more we eat, the more we assure ourselves of staying hydrated. In addition, when we eat these foods, they add bulk to our diet that aids in making us feel full. That is yet another reason to eat lots of veggies and fruits (note on fruit: save for when you have better blood sugar control - you KNOW there’s more on that later).

For now, the eventual goal is to drink plenty of water — half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces per day. If you’re not used to drinking that much water, slowly work your way up. Unsweetened tea, carbonated water (minus ANYTHING sweet and/or artificial) and herbal teas count.

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