Stay hydrated for optimal health

 
By Melanie Ross • Published: February 17th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Imagine a magical elixir that could help energize muscles, detoxify the body and ward off weight gain.

This fluid exists. It’s water.

While a study by University of Pennsylvania researchers suggested there is little science to support the longstanding recommendation to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, the researchers also found no lack of benefits, either.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 percent of Americans drink fewer than four glasses of water per day, including 7 percent who drink no water at all. To stay hydrated, health experts recommend women drink 2.2 liters of water each day; for men, it’s 3 liters. That’s right in line with longstanding advice to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is 1.9 liters.

Your body is about 60 percent water, so staying hydrated helps it run well. Drinking water maintains body temperature and keeps the liver and kidneys functioning correctly. Headaches, dizziness and dry mouth also can be relieved by drinking water, as these are symptoms of mild dehydration.

How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Don’t count glasses. Instead, watch the color of your urine. If it’s yellow, drink more water. If it’s light-colored or clear, your body has sufficient water.

Looking to increase your fluid intake? Use a refillable water bottle. When eating out, ask for water with your meal instead of soda or alcoholic beverages. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet. They have high water content and contribute to overall hydration.

Staying hydrated is an easy way to keep your health in top shape. By sipping water, you’ll look and feel a whole lot better.