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8 Great Reasons for Staying Hydrated (and How to Do It Right)

We won’t bury the lead: 8 glasses of water per day is the golden standard for staying hydrated, and it’s particularly important as summer temperatures begin to rise.

The hot sun draws moisture from our bodies as we sweat. This lack of fluid can wreak havoc as a result, ranging from moderate symptoms such as muscle cramps, confusion, and general tiredness to more severe conditions including lowered blood pressure and pulse, a rapid heart rate, shock, and even worse.

But there are more reasons for staying hydrated than simply making it through a scorching hot summer day. Here are just eight great reasons to keep that water bottle handy:

  1. You’ll have more energy. When you’re dehydrated, your heart must work overtime to deliver oxygen to your brain and your body – and that taps your energy levels, making you feel tired and draggy. Ample water intake ultimately boosts your energy and stamina and gives you the oomph you need to work, play, and participate in activities with family and friends.
  2. Your heart will be stronger. Plasma, believe it or not, is approximately 90 percent water, making up more than half of our body’s total blood volume. When our water intake is insufficient, that blood becomes concentrated – and throws the electrolyte levels responsible for the functioning of our hearts out of whack.
  3. Staying hydrated aids in weight loss. Water contributes to a full feeling in our stomachs, which cuts down on needless snacking in between meals. Not only that, but it boosts our metabolism, which can help us manage our body weight and composition. It also helps to maximize our workouts by replenishing fluids as we sweat and warding off fatigue, which helps us to reach weight loss goals faster.
  4. We move more freely. Our joints contain cartilage and cartilage contains water – almost 80% worth. Staying hydrated helps our joints to remain lubricated and friction-free, allowing us to move easily.
  5. We might even get smarter. A fluid loss of just 2% can negatively impair brain function, including memory and concentration. Cognition benefits greatly from just a few additional glasses of H2O every day. Not only that, but it can help to moderate our emotions and lessen anxiety.
  6. Fewer stomach issues: The digestive system depends on – you guessed it – water to work properly. Otherwise, unpleasant and embarrassing side effects such as gas, bloating, heartburn, and irregularity can occur and disrupt your day-to-day activities. Drinking more water helps to keep things running smoothly by breaking down the soluble fiber in your diet.
  7. Migraines are mitigated: Ever notice that you get headaches when you’ve been out in the heat for too long? Dehydration causes your brain and other tissues to contract and shrink. As that happens – your brain pulls away from your skull, causing pressure and pain. Migraines are also a common side effect of dehydration for those who are susceptible. Staying hydrated is the key to keeping them at bay.
  8. Staying hydrated helps to regulate your body’s temperature. When your body loses fluid during physical activity in a hot environment, your body temperature rises, heat is stored, and your natural ability to “beat the heat” is hindered. Drinking water helps with sweat production – your inner AC unit – and replenishes helpful electrolytes that are lost from dehydration.

Just like sunblock and safety jackets, drinking plenty of water is an important part of staying safe during summertime fun. Staying hydrated is critical. And while 8 glasses of water a day is a great start, every person will have different needs based on age, medical history, health concerns, and more. If you have questions, speak to a doctor. First Call Medical Center offers a wide range of medical services to keep you safe this summer.