April 28, 2021
Do you find yourself falling short of drinking water during the day? You know you should but it just does not happen. Many of us could increase our water intake. But why? What is the purpose of water in our bodies?
- Water fuels muscles to keep them working by transporting oxygen, fat and glucose. Muscles contain 75 percent water so a lot of water is required to maintain and even gain additional muscle.
- Water maintains good blood volume which helps cushion and lubricate joints and assists with cardiovascular health.
- Water helps fight off sickness or lessens the symptoms. Water assists in lessening congestion and keeps our bodies in good condition which is the first step in preventing many seasonal colds and flus.
- Water assists with digestion by allowing hydration in the mouth and saliva glands and moving food through our body.
- Water improves skin by hydrating our cells which improves the elasticity and moisture of our skin.
- Water assists in weight loss. Water contains zero calories and can help reduce the amount of calories you eat by drinking water twenty minutes before a meal. The water helps you feel full.
- Water improves the brain. Our brains contain approximately 80 percent water so it must be kept hydrated. Lack of water significantly affects our focus and memory ability.
- Water improves mood. The less water we consume, the more irritable and less comfortable we are.
- Water is critical for kidneys to do their job of filtering what we put in our bodies. They require a lot of fresh water.
- Water acts as an internal coolant by regulating your body temperature and perspiration.
Because we lose water through sweat, breathing and waste products, it is important to continue to consume water to avoid dehydration. If dehydrated, you may experience headaches, fatigue, crankiness and poor circulation.
Wondering how much water you need in a day? Every person’s needs are different based on various factors such as diet, activity level and age. However, one recommendation is to calculate half your body weight and drink this amount in ounces of water.
You may be looking for ways to increase your water intake. Try making it a routine to grab a glass first thing in the morning before going for a caffeinated beverage. Many fruits and vegetables contain high levels of water. Grapefruit, cantaloupe and peaches contain 88 percent or higher. Zucchini, radish and celery contain 95 percent water. Adding slices of citrus fruits, cucumbers or the others mentioned above in your water may help curb your craving for the high calorie beverages. Herbs such as mint, lavender and rosemary are also great flavor enhancers. Other ways to increase your water consumption to is to find a fun decorated or decorate/personalize your own water bottle/container or, through the buddy system, challenge and hold each other accountable. And, it should be no surprise, there are even free apps to remind you to drink water.
Treat your body like a plant - give it plenty of water to grow and be healthy.
To learn more, contact Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, email@example.com or in the green building next to the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.
Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.
Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.