Water, it’s what makes life on earth possible. So, it should be no surprise just how integral water is toward good health. Getting enough water every day is important, and can prevent numerous conditions including dehydration, constipation, and kidney stones. More importantly, your body needs water to function properly such as by regulating your temperature, lubricating and cushioning your joints, and protecting your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
Your Body Needs Water
Especially for living in the Marianas, water is essential in protecting against the warm climate which often leads to dehydration. If you’ve ever been to a colder or drier climate, such as in California, and had the opportunity to compare the Marianas’ climate, perhaps you’ve noticed that physical activity of any kind causes one to sweat more here in our tropical environment. The increased loss of moisture means that going on hikes, or exercising outdoors can be a bit more dangerous if you’re not properly hydrated.
Not All Beverages Are Created Equal
Most of the fluids within your body are from your daily beverage intake. Although you can get some fluids through the foods that are high in moisture such as fruits and vegetables, the beverages we put into the body are the main source of hydration for maintaining bodily function. Sugary drinks such as regular sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened waters contain calories, but little nutritional value and while does some work in keeping you hydrated, also elevate your sugar levels which the body has to process and ultimately make the body expend energy which in turn requires more hydration. The same goes especially for alcoholic beverages which require the body to expel the toxin ethanol from the body which although may go unnoticed, in actuality is very taxing on our organs, especially the liver which cleans the blood.
Healthier Drink Options
If you’re truly not a big fan of the classic beverage, water, there are healthier options out there that can be part of a healthy diet.
Low or No Calorie Beverages
Plain coffee or teas, sparkling water, seltzers (not hard seltzers), and flavored waters, are low calorie choices that can be part of a healthy diet. Specifically, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle to work water into your daily diet, try swapping out that fountain drink for one of these options where available to keep your hydrated while also helping you maintain healthier weight and blood sugar levels.
Drinks with Calories and Important Nutrients
For those dairy lovers out there, low fat or fat-free milk, fortified milk alternatives such as unflavored soy or almond milks contain important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, or vitamin D. In addition, 100% fruit or vegetable juices fall into this category. However, it should be noted that these options while much healthier than soda or alcohol should be taken in moderation as they contain calories that can be excessive.
If you truly want to know the secret to good hydration, be sure to follow the golden rule — drink at least four to six cups of water a day. Of course, this amount varies based on your amount of daily activity, size, and age, however one need only look inside to know just how much is needed. Quite often your body will tell you when we need more water. Dry mouth, dry skin, and even overall mood can be due to a lack of water in the body. So, paying close attention to your body can be the easiest way to know where you are at with your health, thus if you think something might be just bit off in the moment try drinking some water!
Tips to Drink More Water
And, if you struggle to remember to drink more water, try these easy tips:
- Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
- Freeze water in freezer safe water bottles, and take one with you for ice-dole water all day long.
- Choose water over sugary drinks
- Opt for water when eating out
- Serve water during meals
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water to improve the taste
Working more water into your daily routine may be hard at first, but with just a bit of practice it can be easily become routine. By simply drinking more water you can experience numerous health benefits that are associated with staying hydrated such as better skin, better joint health, improved mood, and better health so don’t let this no-brainer health tip slip by. Don’t wait, hydrate!