Staying Hydrated This Summer

We always hear about the importance of drinking water, especially in the desert. After all, our bodies are about 60% water and it is often recommended that we drink at least 8 cups of water during the day for optimum health. We always hear that keeping hydrated is important, but what are the top reasons to drink plenty of water? Read on to find out what advantages you can get from staying hydrated!

Increases physical performance. When we work out, play sports, or are outside and exposed to high temperatures, we sweat quite a bit. It’s not uncommon to lose as much as 6% to 10% of our total water while doing these activities because of sweating. All of this water loss can cause increased fatigue and make exercise feel a lot more difficult. In order to increase your physical performance, be sure to drink plenty of water to make up for what you lose.

Improves brain function. Your brain is highly affected by how hydrated you are—even mild dehydration can impair brain function. After exercising, if you do not drink enough water to replace what you lost, your mood, concentration, and memory can all be negatively impacted. Being dehydrated can cause anxiety and feelings of fatigue as well. Mild dehydration is losing about 1% to 3% of your total water, which is easy to do when working out or being outside when it’s warm. Be sure to replenish any water that you lose through your sweat.

Prevents and eases headaches. Being dehydrated can cause headaches or migraines in some people. In fact, having a headache could be a tell-tale sign that you need to drink more water. Some studies have shown that drinking more water can decrease the amount of headaches experienced, especially for those who have frequent headaches. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent headaches, and can also bring relief if you’re experiencing one.

Prevents heat illness. Drinking lots of water is the best thing you can do to prevent heat exhaustion or illness. When temperatures get hot, OSHA recommends drinking a cup of water for every 20 minutes you are outside. Avoid coffee, soda, or other caffeinated beverages when outside while it’s hot as these cause dehydrating effects on the body. In Arizona, it’s vital to know the signs of heat illness (like fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, clammy skin, and/or a fast pulse) and do all you can to counteract it by staying hydrated.