The Power of Water

The many benefits of Water

By Alejandro Sanchez, Nutritionist

August in the Midwest means one thing: soaring temperatures. Just a few steps outside and you’re already sweating. Your body is working hard to keep you cool, and to do it efficiently you need enough water in your body. Keeping your body cool is a must, but keeping yourself hydrated helps in a plethora of other ways as well!

 

Prevent Fatigue!

Being dehydrated is the worst. Your body is craving water and your mouth can start feeling dry. If this happens to you, it’s usually accompanied by a sluggish feeling. Your body is now fatigued. When you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases making it more difficult for your body to deliver nutrients and oxygen to vital organs, muscles and your brain. . Water keeps your body working fluidly (yes, pun intended), and prevents the sluggish feeling.

Hunger urges? Not today!

Another important reason to stay hydrated is to keep your body from giving you urges to eat. By keeping up with your fluids, your body will have something in the stomach and intestines, so it won’t be completely empty. This gives your body some fulfillment and combined with your daily meals and snacks, may help avoid constant hunger.

Constipation? How about no.

Keeping a constant flow of water throughout the day will keep the GI tract functioning the way it was intended. Proper hydration will allow nutrients and minerals to get picked up more readily by the body, and even keep your stool soft and well formed. Saliva (enzymes) starts the process of digestion and its basis is water. Always start with increasing your water intake if constipation becomes an issue.

Hot days. Cool body.

The most obvious and very important benefit to keeping the body well hydrated is keeping your body cool. Water is needed so that it can regulate the temperature of your body and make the necessary adjustments to keep it at the right temperatures. On hot days (like this month’s forecast) you sweat to keep the body cool. Without that function, you could over heat and potentially have to make an unplanned trip to the hospital.

 

So remember, as a rule of thumb:  get half your body weight in ounces of water daily! If you are exercising and spending a lot of time in this summer heat, you can even shoot for more! If your body feels dry it can probably use more water.  Drink to a point that your urine is a light yellow color, or even clear, which is an easy indicator of proper hydration. When it gets dark yellow, dehydration has arrived. If you have questions about proper hydration, especially during active weight loss, feel  free to ask any of your weight management team at The Group!

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