Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Staying Hydrated

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

Many times we only think of hydrating our bodies during the summer heat, but hydration is important at all times.  Drinking water every day helps us stay alert and keeps our body systems working efficiently.  Reasons for drinking enough fluids is to keep joints lubricated, assist in expelling waste materials, keeping our body temperature low and more.  These are essential functions that each depend on us to take in enough fluids every day to help our bodies function properly.  There are also sensitive tissues that need fluids, such as the spinal column.
When it comes to hydration the first thing that usually comes to our mind is “water” or “H2o.”  It is important to hydrate by drinking water, but there are other ways to get small amounts of hydration.  For example, soups are comprised of mostly water.  According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) other hydrating foods include celery, tomatoes, oranges and melons.

The human body often gives signs to indicate its need to increase hydration.  Dark urine, the inability to sweat in extremely hot conditions, or lack of tear formation when crying, are signs that indicate a need to increase fluid intake.
A basic rule to follow is to simply drink when you are thirsty, however extra hydration is needed during the hot summers and when doing physical activity.  Some people drink plenty of water to promote an optimally operating system.  Other individuals may need to develop daily habits, perhaps setting aside certain times of the day such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime to add adequate water to their routine.  Water can easily be added to school or work routines because of the accessibility of water fountains, bottled water and travel water containers.  Whatever your situation is, keep a water bottle with you so you have easy access to liquids.  It is best to drink water, but if you choose to drink other flavored surgery or caffeinated drinks, be aware of what comes with those drinks.  Many times there are hidden calories or caffeine.

If it is flavor you’re looking for you could try adding fresh fruit to your water for added flavor. Just wash any of your favorite fruits, then slice and let it soak in your water for about a half hour and you will have a flavored drink.  Drinking plenty of water is an easy way to add to your overall health.

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