Fitness Facts: The importance of hydration
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
The weather is getting warm again! This is a reminder to:
We hear that word all the time, but what does it really mean?
Hydration is an extremely important concept, especially on these hot Arizona days. But why is it so important and how do know if you if you are hydrated enough?
To understand its importance, let’s start with the facts:
Your body depends on water to function. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Water is needed for overall good health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluids than you take in and your body does not have enough to carry out its normal function.
If your body is not getting enough fluids, it will let you know by signs and symptoms. Some common ones are thirst, decreased urination, dry skin, fatigue, lightheadedness and weakness.
These are definite signs that you already are dehydrated, and if this condition worsens it can lead to more extensive physical problems such as kidney failure (which might not be reversible).
So how much should you drink?
According to familydoctory.org, you should drink water every day. Most people have been told they should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
This is reasonable, but different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. I tell people to drink half their weight in ounces. For example, if you are a 110-pound woman you would drink 55 ounces per day.
Also, always consider your conditions. If it is hot and humid, you will need more. If it is cold and you are sedentary, you will need less. If you have a fever, you will need to increase fluids. If you are an active athlete, you will need to increase your fluids.
The key is, don’t wait until you start experiencing symptoms. Prevent dehydration by drinking water daily and frequently. Prevention is always the key to preventing illness!
For more information on this topic, click here.