Why Hydration is so Important

You have heard it your whole life, drink water. You have to stay hydrated if you want to do well in an activity. Our body is composed of about 60-70% water. On a normal daily routine, a person can lose up to 4 liters of water. This is not counting exercise or the extremely hot temperatures we can have here in Mississippi. Here are five benefits that come with staying properly hydrated. 


Fights Infection

With the COVID-19 going around, this is the perfect time to stay hydrated. Having your body properly hydrated helps the blood cells carry oxygen through the body at its peak ability. Cells are made up of 70% water. Not taking in enough water throughout the day causes your cells to work at less than 100% efficiency. This can increase your risk of getting an infection or illness. 


Prevent Constipation

The definition of constipation varies widely depending on whom you ask. Some say less than three bowel movements per week; while others say less than one bowel movement per day. If you are only having three bowel movements in a week, I say you are constipated. 

Constipation occurs when the stool in your colon gets dehydrated. This causes water to pool from the intestines to hydrate the rest of the body. When that happens, the stool becomes dry, hard, and makes it difficult to move through the colon. 


Get rid of body toxins

Save the liver and kidneys. Livers and kidneys are great at filtering waste products and flushing them out. Think about never changing your oil in the car. What if the car never has fresh fluids running through its engine? Eventually, it’s going to end badly for that poor engine. The filter will get clogged and bye-bye it goes. Well, that is kind of like not hydrating properly and allowing these organs to do their job at their highest level. 


Boost energy 

Throughout the day your body is doing a lot of functions to get you going. All of these functions that are happening require water to perform. When you are not hydrated, this leaves you fatigued and tired throughout the day. When you are hydrated, your body is functioning without having to overwork itself. Staying properly hydrated allows you to have more energy throughout your day. 


Helps with weight loss

Drinking water but still eating a bad diet and drinking sugary drinks will not help with weight loss. Water is a natural appetite suppressant that will help with intaking the bad calories throughout the day. You are less likely to want those chips or during candy bars throughout your day. Water also helps increase with calorie burning. Proper hydration can help remove waste from the body. It helps flush the system out. Water is necessary to burn fat. It helps the body properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates. This also is done during the intake of calories. Being well-hydrated keeps you energized and willing to work out more often. 


How much water should you drink? We have always heard  8 glasses a day. This is not the best solution to drinking water. It all depends on your body type, how much activity you are doing, and how your diet is. Do not use the urine test to see if you are dehydrated or hydrated. Even though it is a good reference, it is not 100% accurate. If you are taking supplements or vitamins, this can affect the urine color. So back to the question of how much should you be drinking? A great guide is men should be drinking around 3 liters and women should be drinking around 2 liters per day.  If you are not able to get the 2 or 3 liters in during the day, you should get at least half your body weight in ounces. 


Written by christian Johnston

Assistant Athletic Trainer at Delta State University. 2019 Athletic Trainer of the year. 6 years served in the Mississippi National Guard.


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