Hydration 101: Importance Of Water For Health

Karolina Zaremba headshot

by Karolina Zaremba, CNP


It’s a cliché for a reason – water is essential to life! It is present in all of your cells and is used for important functions like digestion, regulating temperature, and lubricating your joints.

person holding full glass of water

Water is present in all of your cells and is used for digestion, regulating temperature, and lubricating your joints.

It’s especially important to re-hydrate if you’ve been active or spending extra time outdoors. (1) This not only means participating in sports, but also doing yard work, walking, and chasing after your kids or pets. Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated, no matter the season.

Water requirements

Your daily water needs will vary depending on factors including gender, body size, activity levels, and the climate you’re in. The Food and Nutrition Board sets these general recommendations for total water intake, from all food and beverages: (2)

Women

2.7 liters (91 ounces)

Men

3.7 liters (125 ounces daily)

An easy way to see if you’re drinking enough water is when your urine is colorless or a pale yellow. If it’s bright or dark yellow, you need to drink up!

Electrolyte water

The electrolyte minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium help to balance your body’s fluid levels. Your body excretes these in higher amounts in your sweat, so it’s important to replenish them throughout the day.

Making your own electrolyte drink is easy and less expensive than buying it at the store. In addition, commercial brands contain artificial colors, flavors, and sweetener. The sugar in these drinks can actually increase your thirst! You can DIY instead by adding a pinch of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt to your water bottle for the electrolyte minerals. (3) Squeeze in some lemon, lime, or add fruit like strawberries for natural flavor, a touch of sweetness, and some added vitamin C.

glass jug of water and cut up lemons

Making your own electrolyte drink is easy and less expensive than buying it at the store.

Stay away from diuretics

Diuretics like coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol will make you excrete water from your body quicker than you should. Try to minimize these drinks, especially on active days or days you spend out in the sun. If you do choose to enjoy these beverages, try to alternate with a glass of water for each one!

Go beyond water

There’s a reason why you gravitate towards watermelon and crunchy salads. Fruit and vegetables are high in water content, and the fiber in them helps to slow the absorption of the water. This means more sustained hydration for you! Snack on produce like peaches, melons, pineapple, cucumber, celery, and tomatoes.

Do you have any hydration tips? Please share them in the comments below!

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