Water is one of the most important ingredients in our bodies. Two-thirds of our body weight is made up of water. Water keeps our bodies hydrated and allows all of our organs to function smoothly, as well as cleaning out toxins from our systems. It is vital that our body gets the amount of water it needs. The summer season is upon us and high temperatures increase our need for water even more.
Even mild dehydration will make your body operate with less efficiency. The effects of inadequate hydration include heat intolerance, decreased coordination, dizziness, headaches, impaired judgment, and fatigue. Research has shown that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory loss, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page – so you can boost your productivity by drinking more water.
The average day’s loss of body fluid is generally replaced by the liquids we drink and the foods we eat. The rate of loss will vary according to activity level, air temperature, humidity, and altitude. The amount of fluid required to stay hydrated can be significantly increased by exercise and sweating, especially in hot dry climates.
A traditional rule of thumb is to drink about 8-10 glasses of water, juice or milk per day. The Israeli army puts a little lemon juice in their water, which helps them drink more. If you plan to engage in strenuous exercise, go on a hike, or do physical work outdoors on a hot day, it’s best to start hydrating the day before. Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine (such as coffee, tea, and Coke), which cause fluid loss.
Always reach for a glass of water first, before having a snack. Salty snacks will make you feel thirstier, but too much salt is bad for you. Fruits and vegetables contain pure water in gel form which is slowly absorbed into your body. Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and water content will help you stay hydrated and satisfy your hunger pangs at the same time.
The following infographic from Supplement Mart lists 15 foods that naturally contain at least 70 percent water. We’d also add apples, grapes, and blueberries to the list. Make your own healthy thirst-quenching smoothies out of of these ingredients!