Now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to address a commonly undervalued part of leading a healthy lifestyle: proper hydration. With rising temperatures and more frequent outdoor activity, it’s essential to understand the importance of water to how your body functions and to understand how much water you should be drinking.
Hydration plays a critical role in your health and wellness and deeply impacts how your body works. In fact, ten of the top benefits of drinking water are:
- Increased energy levels
- Flushes out bodily toxins
- Naturally suppresses appetite
- Relieves fatigue
- Prevents muscle cramps and spasms
- Boosts immune system functions
- Provides relief from headaches
- Improves mood stability
- Helps maintain digestion
- Improves complexion
Although we are sure many of you have heard the eight glasses of water rule a day, a better rule to aim for is to try to drink at least half of your weight in ounces daily. This new guideline comes from the Mayo Clinic’s published standards for proper hydration.
Try substituting your afternoon coffee or can of soda for water or drinking a large glass before any meal or snack to help boost your numbers. It may be difficult to adjust your routine to include so much fluid but once you establish healthy habits and start reaping the benefits listed above, we doubt you’ll ever want to revert back to barely sipping on the H2O.
There are a few additional factors that should be taken into consideration when guesstimating your water intake levels:
-If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will most likely need to increase your water consumption. These extra ounces can help reduce muscle aches and pains, headaches, swelling of the ankles and legs and other common pregnancy symptoms.
-If you are super active or training for an athletic competition, you should also consider upping your water levels. This is to compensate for the loss of sweat and electrolytes during rigorous activity!
-If you spent a lot of time outdoors, you will also need to boost your water intake. When exposed to the elements, your body will dehydrate faster than sitting at an office job in the air conditioning so be sure to account for the time you spend in the sun and increase the amount of ounces you aim to get down!
With summer upon us, temperatures climbing higher, and most of us spending more time outdoors with kids and family, it’s critical to ensure that everyone gets enough to drink!