Everyone knows that you should drink plenty of water. Water makes up about 60 percent of your body, and it is vital for health and well-being. The benefits of staying hydrated cannot be overstated, especially when soaring temperatures provide more opportunity for your body to become dehydrated. Water definitely quenches thirst and prevents dry mouth, but it does so much more than that.
Blood volume is adversely affected by dehydration. The decrease in volume causes the heart to work harder to pump blood through your body. In essence, the heart has to work overtime to ensure that enough oxygen is getting to the cells.
Fatigue is a common sign of dehydration. Everyday activities become more difficult with lowered blood volume. Just walking up stairs can leave you breathless.
The human body is amazing when you realize all the systems that must work together to keep you functioning. When you exercise and your face turns red, your body is releasing heat. The blood vessels close to the surface of the skin expand and heat is released. If the body does not have enough water, a higher environmental temperature is needed for the blood vessels to expand. Consequently, instead of cooling off, the body remains hotter.
Your workout puts demands on your muscles, and they can become fatigued and sore. Toxins can also build up with stringent exercise. Rehydration is critical for optimal muscle recovery. The body’s liquids need to be replenished along with electrolytes and sodium. Drinking water detoxifies the body by flushing out the waste products.
Hydrating also helps reduce muscle soreness and cramping after exercise, and it is important for lubricating your joints. Oxygen is carried to all the cells of your body, including muscle, and when they are well hydrated, the muscles can work harder and longer before fatigue sets in. This helps build more muscle.
You may make a point of staying well hydrated if you are an athlete or enjoy working out. But hydration is not all about the muscles and energy efficiency of the body, it also affects the brain. Your brain is approximately 80 percent water. Keeping your body, and thus your brain, hydrated helps with cognition and concentration. It also helps your memory function better and balances mood and emotions.
As summer wears on and temperatures soar, remember to always have some water handy, especially if you plan on participating in any sports or exercise. Think of water as a nutrient your body needs in order to function properly. The truth is, all systems in the body need water to function, so drink up!
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