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The Importance of Proper Hydration

water

The body needs water to eliminate toxins, produce digestive enzymes, maintain healthy skin, hair and organs, and to help your body absorb essential vitamins, minerals and natural sugars. Water also helps the body to regulate its temperature, stimulates metabolism and helps to promote regularity.

Fluids other than pure water do not act in the same way inside the body, and they do not meet hydration needs in the way that water does. Many people become dehydrated from relying on other fluids besides water for their fluid intake. Liquids, such as coffee, tea, alcohol. Sodas (or any other beverage that has caffeine) should not be accounted for when estimating one’s fluid intake, because they are a diuretic, which means they actually remove water and nutrients from the body.

Chronic dehydration has been linked to fatigue, constipation, headaches, indigestion, muscle and joint pain, elevated blood pressure, depression, allergies, weight gain, and more.

Whenever a person feels thirsty or hungry, it is advised that they first have a drink of water, to see if that satiates the feeling of hunger as well. The general medical community suggests that you drink as many ounces of water per day as are equal to half of your body weight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, then it is suggested you drink 60 ounces of water per day. Drinking extra water in hot weather and after exercise is very important as well in order to be properly hydrated. And it is recommended that you drink the bulk of your water throughout the day between meals, although it is acceptable to drink some water along with meals as well.

A good way to check to see if you are drinking enough water is to see if your urine is almost completely clear. It should be if you are sufficiently hydrated.