Hydration… Is it really necessary to drink water?

Free 2 week martial arts intro program for kids and adults at the Boca Raton Karate & Kickboxing Academy

The answer is an astounding YES!  Water is necessary for survival and healthy body function.  If you depleted your body entirely of water, you would lose half of your current body weight or more.  Without water, no part of your body would function correctly.  Water helps you maintain joint mobility, body temperature, and keep toxins and waste flowing and expelling from your body.

Water is lost continuously throughout each day when you sweat, excrete, and as you breathe.  If you exercise or live in a tropical, warm climate, you lose water even quicker.  Dehydration in this part of the country is a common problem and must be carefully monitored.

How do you know if you are dehydrated?  Several of the following may occur:

  • Headaches
  • Cotton or dry mouth
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Confusion or feeling shaky and faint
  • Dark urine

The rule of thumb for the average person is to drink 48 to 64 ounces of water each day.  If you are an athlete or have special medical issues, then more is recommended.  Every person is unique, but most can regulate their water intake simply by responding and drinking water when feeling thirsty.

Water can be obtained in other liquids and some fruits and veggies.  Caffeinated drinks can also contribute to daily water intake, though other effects of caffeine can be negative and also cause accelerated water loss.  Many sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar and or sodium and caffeine and should be carefully considered by portion size and listed ingredients.  The electrolytes in sports drinks can be a bonus for extreme exercise and athletes, but don’t confuse sports drinks with energy drinks.  Energy drinks contain high amounts of stimulants which are not natural to your body.  They should never be a replacement for water.

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