The Importance of Hydration

Whether you’re an athlete or just trying to stay healthy, staying hydrated is key. It improves workout performance, allows you to exercise at lower heart rates and body temperatures and helps prevent injuries.

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Try drinking water in combination with your daily activities to build a hydration habit. For example, when you get up to go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water.

Increased Energy

Hydration is a vital nutrient for the body, and when you are dehydrated your body has less energy. Studies have shown that dehydration can reduce your mood and cause you to become more lethargic, so keeping up on water intake throughout the day will keep you feeling energized.

Dehydration can occur when you lose more fluid through sweating, illness, urinating or drinking than you take in from food and water. When you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases, which can affect heart function and your body’s ability to transport oxygen and nutrients around the body.

In addition to the obvious benefit of keeping your heart healthy, hydration can also help with your digestive health. Being dehydrated can slow the rate of gastric emptying and may lead to bloating, abdominal discomfort and constipation. Adhering to the recommended daily intake of 2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters for men (adjust to your personal circumstances) will ensure proper digestion.

Staying hydrated can also improve your cognitive functioning. One study showed that when people were dehydrated, they had decreased performance on tests of mental alertness and attention. This is because dehydration causes the brain to work harder in order to compensate for lack of fluids, which can ultimately cause you to feel foggy-headed.

Less Pain

Keeping the body properly hydrated can help to prevent and reduce a variety of health conditions, from indigestion to headaches. It also helps the immune system function optimally, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In addition to drinking water, it is important to eat foods that are high in fluid content as well, such as fruits and vegetables. These foods can help you reach your hydration goals quicker because they are typically more than 80% water. Try a refreshing fruit smoothie with strawberries (which are 91% water) or watermelon slices.

Water should be an important part of your hydration routine, but it is not the end-all. Other beverages like milk, tea and orange juice can be more hydrating than water, according to one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These beverages contain electrolytes, which help to replenish the body’s fluid levels and balance.

KSI recommends incorporating hydration into your daily habits by setting a realistic goal. Hydration reminders can be a great way to keep on track and make it a habit, such as using a fitness tracker or smartwatch that can measure your hourly hydration intake. Alternatively, set yourself visual cues by placing a reusable water bottle at key locations throughout your home or office.

It’s possible to become dehydrated for many reasons, including sweating heavily during a workout, feeling dehydrated as a result of illness or being stuck in hot or humid weather. Oral rehydration solutions can be helpful for those who need to get back on track quickly.

Better Sleep

A great night’s sleep is dependent on many different factors. Sleep quality, pillows, room temperature, pre-bed routines and more all play significant roles. But, what many people don’t realize is that dehydration can contribute to poor sleep as well.

While we’re sleeping, our bodies continue to use water and lose it through sweating and breathing (if the weather is warm). Being properly hydrated throughout the day can help you sleep better at night, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

Studies have shown that if you aren’t getting enough water, it can affect your melatonin levels and interfere with a healthy circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. In addition, poor sleep can lead to further hydration issues and health problems like fatigue, high blood pressure and obesity.

Being dehydrated while you’re asleep can also cause a dry mouth and nasal passages, which may contribute to snoring – not to mention keeping your partner awake. Drinking water before bed helps to reduce snoring and allows you to get a better night’s rest.

The key to great sleep is having a consistent pre-bed routine that includes drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine after lunch and stopping any liquid intake several hours before you plan to go to bed to prevent disruptive urination. The best way to get the most out of your hydration is to make it a habit and start early in the day.