By River Doyle

The Importance of Hydration: What Happens to Your Body When You Stay Hydrated

When you hydrate, you are replenishing the water that your body loses through various processes, such as sweating and breathing. This is important because your body relies on water to function properly. Water helps to regulate your body temperature, transport nutrients, and flush toxins from your body.

When you become dehydrated, your body can't function at its best. You may experience symptoms such as dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, and fatigue. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to more serious health problems such as heat stroke, kidney failure, and even death.

Hydration is particularly important for athletes and people who work or exercise outdoors. When you sweat, you lose not only water, but also electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. These electrolytes help to regulate your body's fluids and are essential for proper muscle function. To maintain your body's electrolyte balance, it's important to replace the fluids and electrolytes that you lose through sweat.

Drinking water is the most effective way to hydrate. Water is readily available and inexpensive, and it doesn't contain calories or added sugars. Other fluids, such as fruit juice, sports drinks, and soda, can also help to hydrate, but they may contain calories or added sugars that can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.

To stay hydrated, the American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water before exercise, and 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise. After exercise, you should drink an additional 16 to 24 ounces for every pound of weight you lose during exercise.

In addition to drinking enough fluids, you can also stay hydrated by eating foods that contain water. Fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes, are high in water and can help to keep you hydrated.

In conclusion, staying hydrated is important for maintaining good health. Water is the best fluid to help keep you hydrated, and drinking enough before, during, and after exercise is essential for maintaining your body's fluid and electrolyte balance. Eating water-rich foods can also help to keep you hydrated. By making sure to stay hydrated, you can help your body function at its best.