You probably already know that exercising and eating right are key ways to improve your health. But, you may be overlooking one major health necessity that is as close as your kitchen faucet – water. It’s vital all year long, even during winter months when you might think hydration is less important.
“Staying hydrated is a very important component of staying healthy,” says physician assistant Tricia A. Howard, a faculty member at South University, Savannah College of Health Professions . “Most people know they need to stay hydrated when they are doing vigorous exercise or in very hot weather, but they don’t realize the importance of making sure they are getting enough water every day.”
Why water is important
Sixty percent of your body weight is made up of water. Since water carries nutrients to cells in your body, and flushes toxins from vital organs, Howard says it is important to replace what you lose daily.
“Our bodies are always losing water – even when we breathe we are losing small amounts,” she says. “So, it is important to know how much water you need daily and to make a point of drinking it.”
Your daily intake
Howard says men need three liters, or 13 cups, of water a day. Women should drink 2.2 liters or nine cups daily.
“If you drink water with each meal, and at least one glass between each meal, you will be very close to what you need to drink every day,” Howard suggests.
And there is good news if you want some variety. Howard says beverages like milk and even coffee can take the place of some of the water that you need to drink daily.
“Drinks that are high in water, and low in calories, are acceptable substitutions for water,” Howard explains. “But watch out for sugary, high-calorie drinks that will cause weight gain.”
Howard says the benefits of staying properly hydrated every day go beyond good health. Staying hydrated also approves the appearance of your skin.
“Drinking a glass of water is one of the easiest things any of us can do,” Howard says. “It is important to how your body works on the inside, and how it looks on the outside. Adding this simple step to your daily routine is well worth the many benefits.”