I was born and raised in south Texas, where summer days can seem ever-ending! Our summer usually starts some time in late April - early May, and can extend well into October. I’ve even spent Christmas mornings in short-sleeve shirts! So I know heat and humidity. I also know how refreshing a tall glass of ice water can be, not just to cool off from the heat, but for our body and mind as a whole!
Water is to our body what oil is to a car; we can't function without it! It is vital to sustain life and is an essential nutrient. Adults need 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Just divide your weight by two and that’s how many ounces of water your body needs per day. While it seems like an easy task, sometimes getting in our recommended daily amount of water can be challenging. When it feels like we’re running to the bathroom every 10 minutes, remember how important that H2O is!
A Few Benefits of Water
- Water is good for the brain. Our brain is 70-75% water. When the brain doesn't get enough water, it can't think or send messages to the body as effectively.
- Water cleans the body. It helps the kidneys eliminate toxins and waste products.
- Water curbs overeating.
- Water acts like lubrication for joints and assists in shock absorption
- Water keeps muscles moving. Like the brain, muscles are 70-75% water. When you get dehydrated, your muscles get tired, tighten up, and don't work as well.
- Water prevents constipation. Drinking plenty of water helps keep stools large, soft, and easy to pass.
- Water is good "cough syrup." It helps keep the breathing passages from drying out and getting plugged with mucus. It can also help loosen the secretions in the lungs that cause a deep chest cough.
- Water helps to regulate body temperature & blood volume.
- Water aids in the distribution and transporting of water-soluble nutrients.
If you are having trouble getting all your water in liquid form, snack on these foods that contain a minimum of 90% water: tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, or celery. Mmmmm….cold watermelon in the summer is a favorite around our house!
A Note About Soda
Just a quick side note on soda: It is high in calories and provides NO nutrients. People who tend to drink a lot of soda are more likely to be overweight or more obese than those who drink little to none. It’s empty calories with no benefit; skip it or leave it for a special occasion. Even the diet versions offer no hydration effect. We will get to the sugar-free and diet drinks in a later blog!
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Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. Start Guide by Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training 7th edition