Importance of Water
All ecosystems enjoy the benefits of water. Organisms utilize water as a necessary life resource. Water is found in oceans, tundras, tropical rainforests, and even in the desert. In desert climates, cacti are conditioned to save the small amount of water they gather. We are often aware of how dehydrated we can get in the summer. Warnings of heat stroke and exhaustion are all over the news and social media. We get hot, sweat, and become very thirsty.
Dehydration can be just as dangerous in the winter. The cold tends to dry out our skin, and bodies, due to the lack of humidity and moisture in the air. Arguably, at any time of the year, it is important to stay hydrated.
How to Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is when the body is not receiving enough water, and the body’s normal functions are compromised from lack of hydration. The body needs at least six to eight glasses of water per day to carry out normal functions. This can usually be consumed in pure drinking water; or by the amount of water in vegetables and fruits. Some produce including cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries, watermelon, are made up of over 90% water. Eating these foods will help keep you hydrated.
There are several foods that will help to dehydrate you. These include foods heavy in salt, as sodium absorbs water from cells. Diuretics are foods that will make you urinate and deplete water from your cells. Diuretics include alcohol, soda, asparagus, coffee, and countless others. Consuming alcohol and soda will leave you feeling groggy after the initial feeling wears off.
Water Usage By the Body
Every organ and organ system in your body utilizes water. The Mayo Clinic describes the functions of water in our body as:
- Regulating body temperature
- Moistens tissues such as those in the mouth, eyes, and nose
- Lubricates joints
- Lesses the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients
- Protects body organs and tissues
- Prevents constipation
Tips on Drinking More Water
There are many tips to drinking more water. It is especially important to drink water right before, during, and after exercising. Exercising depletes the body of its water through sweat. Replacing lost fluids is necessary, especially after exercising. Some people find the taste of water less palatable than other soft drinks. Try adding some fresh fruit like lemon, orange slices, watermelon or strawberries to your water. Some people also like to add cucumber or mint.
If the amount of water is causing the issue, break down the amount needed in a separate container. Mark the amount of water needed to ingest by each hour. By the end of the day, your container should hopefully be empty. It is also important to note that ingesting too much water can literally drown the body. Make sure you drink just the right amount for your body.
Do you have any other tips on how to stay hydrated during the winter? Comment below!