Hydration: Why It’s So Important!

A colleague of mine confessed to me recently about how consistently she tired she finds herself, even before the day is half over.  I know her well;  she is the easy going type, she loves her job, and she schedules in down time and healthy meals.  What could be the problem?  As a holistic nutritionist, there are some questions I always like to ask when troubleshooting health and wellness obstacles. The most revealing question often turns out to be, How much water do you consume daily?  I had a hunch my friend wasn’t drinking enough water.  Dehydration is the number one trigger of day time fatigue.  How much water did my friend consume on a daily basis?  Not enough!  Water is essential to life! The brain is about 70% water and the adult body is about 60-65% water. We need water for so many things, and you cannot live more than 2 days without it. Good hydration is essential to:

  • Detoxification-flushes out toxins.
  • Hydration-keeps our cells moving.
  • Satiety-helps make our stomachs feel full.
  • Mental clarity-keeps our mind sharp.
  • Blood pressure management-helps keep blood pressure in normal zone.
  • Skin health-keeps skin moist.
  • Kidney stone prevention-helps inhibits stones from forming.
  • Digestion-helps move food through our body
  • Lubrication-keeps our body moving.

Your body depends on water for survival.  You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid fluid loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.  The fatigue my colleague experienced was directly related to her water consumption, but tiredness isn’t the only symptom of dehydration.  Dry mouth, dark urine, no urine, or very little urine, headache, extreme thirst, foggy head, dizziness, and feeling lighthead are sure signs you are not getting enough water.

How much water should you drink each day? Water needs vary depending on body weight, exercise program, and environmental temperature-we generally need more when we are hot and sweating. Any physical work such as exercise or hard labor will boost our water needs.  Any illnesses that include symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or fever, will increase our need for water. Don’t forget, we always need to replenish any fluids we lose! You can use a Body Hydration Calculator HERE if you want to find out sepcifically how many ounces of water per day you should drink, according to your body weight and how much you exercise.  If not, 2 liters a day is a healthy goal to shoot for.  You can bet you’re not drinking enough water each day.  Most of us aren’t. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly.

How can you stay hydrated?  Consider the following:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. Drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant.
  • Eat water rich fruits and vegetables that can replenish lost vitamins and minerals in addition to rehydrating your body.

Water is essential for good health.  I like to fill a jug of cold water, add lemon slices and keep cold and ready to go in the refrigerator.  What are your tricks to staying hydrated?  Leave a comment below and share you wellness knowledge!