- Maggie Prokop
Water(ever) It Takes
The amount of water one needs to drink in order to be considered hydrated varies depending on their personal characteristics, such as age and activity level. However, many health professionals recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses daily. Hydration is important because it helps maintain and regulate body temperature and helps the brain function. Hydrating your body has many benefits, but it is necessary for the body in order to function properly as well. Drinking water regulates basic bodily functions by improving alertness, increasing metabolism, boosting the immune system, lubricating joints and muscles and improving your mood.
Chugging glasses of water has specific benefits beyond just regulating your body and brain. An increase in mental alertness leads to better focus, concentration and productivity. An increase in the metabolic rate occurs as the body regulates its temperature, which requires energy expenditure. The energy expenditure occurs as your body warms the fluids that you consume to regulate your core temperature and create homeostasis. There is a boost in your immune system as well. Drinking water helps fight against potential health risks, such as the flu because water removes toxins and bacteria.
When water is distributed throughout the body, waste material is removed through urination, which improves your immune system. Lastly, hydration also reduces pain in the joints and muscles by properly lubricating them and aiding in ‘flushing out’ any toxins or byproducts of energy metabolism. Each of these factors can contribute to enhancing your mood because your body is functioning better.
The best source of hydration is from water, but you can increase or improve your hydration by eating fruits and vegetables as well. If water intake is challenging for you, begin by exchanging a beverage that does not provide quality hydration with one 8-16 ounce cup or bottle of water or fruit infused water. For example, if you drink three cans of soda a day, start by exchanging one can for 8-16 ounces of water. Practice this strategy for a few days or a week, then make a second exchange and so forth, striving for 64 ounces a day. After a few weeks, you will begin to feel and see the benefits of a well-hydrated body.