Water and Staying Hydrated

I wanted to blog today, about the importance of water, and drinking it, which is inspired by how awful I’ve felt these last few days as a result of not drinking near as much of it as my body needs. I typically stay very hydrated, but every now and then for whatever reason, I drink other liquids, and it is amazing how much havoc it wreaks on my body, and my blood sugar.

I have headaches, my muscles are tense and won’t release, I’m sore and bruised feeling all over, I can’t think as clearly, I don’t sleep very well, my skin is dry, my eyes are goopy, and my blood sugar won’t budge for anything.

Here are six facts about drinking water and staying hydrated:

  • Prevents Dry Mouth: Water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste—and can even promote cavities.
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health: Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs—as well as exercise—more difficult.
  • Keeps your body Cool: Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter.
  • Muscles and Joines Work Better: When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints. Contrary to popular belief, muscle cramps do not appear to be related to dehydration, but, instead, to muscle fatigue, according to Sam Cheuvront, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist.
  • Keeps Skin Supple: When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. And, no, unfortunately, drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles.
  • Cleanses Toxins from your Body: Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.

Here’s to being reminded how important staying hydrated is for me, my body, and my health, cheers!