Thank you for reading the Nutrition Bites blog! For the last installment during National Nutrition Month, I want to talk about hydration and why it’s important to drink enough water. Did you know that water makes up roughly 60% of the human body? Staying properly hydrated has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Drinking enough water keeps your skin hydrated. Skin is mostly composed of water and if you become dehydrated, this can lead to skin disorders and wrinkles.
  • Water lubricates your joints. Your cartilage contains up to 80% water and if you become dehydrated this lowers the effect cartilage has on joints, which in turn can lead to pain and inflammation.
  • Hydration promotes healthy kidneys. Kidneys are mainly used to filter liquids that pass through your body. When dehydrated, kidney stones can start to form, and in extreme cases can result in kidney failure.
  • It can help relieve allergies. If a person is dehydrated, this can result in airway constriction, which will heighten breathing issues often accompanied with allergies or asthma.
  • Hydration aids in healthy digestion. Water helps the digestive system process food correctly and dehydration can result in digestive problems, constipation and heartburn.

So how much water should you drink? Daily water intake will vary based on age and environment. A general rule of thumb to follow for adequate daily hydration is to drink roughly half of your body’s weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink at least 75 ounces of water. This is the minimum and will vary for different factors, i.e., hotter environments will require a larger daily intake.

Please note: water intake must remain consistent and spread evenly throughout the day. If you attempt to drink your daily intake all in the morning or at one time, dehydration will eventually result. Among the side effects mentioned above, another issue that can result from inadequate hydration is carrying excess water weight. Often mistaken for body fat, water weight is water that will sit between the skin and the muscle. If the body becomes dehydrated, as a survival mechanism, it will begin to retain water. One simple rule to follow to eliminate excess water weight is: take a few sips of water every hour from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. If you wake up at night, don’t be afraid to grab a glass of water then as well.

We’re excited to bring you our new blog this March for National Nutrition Month. The blog is authored by our Healthy Living Director, Andrew Krasovsky, and will feature new installments each week. If you have any questions about the topics below or suggestions for future posts, please email Andrew at akrasovsky@fspymca.org.