Our body needs water. We can’t live without water. Our joints need water to stay lubricated. Nutrients that we eat need water to transport them and help them absorb into our cells. Our organs need water. Water helps to regulate our body temperature. Water helps to maintain our blood volume. Hold on a minute while I go get a glass of water to drink. Mmmm…that’s good. I like drinking water. Do you?
When your body tells you that it’s thirsty, don’t ignore it. If you do ignore your thirst alert, you could become dehydrated.
Here are some signs and symptoms of dehydration from the American Council on Exercise (ACE):
You become fatigued. You get a headache. You have more concentrated and decreased urine. You lose weight (not a good way to lose weight). Your heart rate increases and blood pressure lowers. You have dry mouth and dry eyes. You become constipated. You lose coordination. You have muscle cramps and in extreme cases of dehydration, you become weak and trembling and you can’t think clearly. I think I need to get another glass of water after reading that.
The guideline for fluid intake is eight, eight-ounce cups of water each day. In my opinion though, it’s easier to let your thirst be your guide and drink water throughout the day. Let’s face it, how many of us would count how many cups of water we drink every day?
In certain situations, you may need to drink more water daily (when doing vigorous exercise or on a hot day). If you question how much water you need, talk to a registered dietician or a qualified nutritionist.
Drinking a glass of water is a great way to get your daily needed fluid. You can also get your daily fluid from other beverages and foods.
Here’s some of the most hydrating foods, according to ACE: peaches, grapes, all types of melons, citrus fruits, strawberries, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, celery, eggplant, cottage cheese, broth based soups, yogurt, mixed greens, tomatoes and oatmeal. Except for the eggplant, they all sound good to me. I hope you also enjoy eating these hydrating foods.
Be sure to drink, and eat, enough water every day. Here’s to you staying healthy and hydrated.
Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the February 2, 2017 edition of the Seaford Star.