Water is essential for life. It makes up most of our body weight. We don’t just get it from drinking, it also comes from the foods that we eat. Water is vital to many activities our body does on a daily basis. It transports nutrients through the body, exchanges wastes, helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate your joints, creates saliva and mucus secretions and assist your body in absorbing shock.
Did you know that as little as 2% dehydration in the body can cause reduced endurance, increased fatigue, and less motivation!? It can also have an impact on your mood, concentration, alertness, and short term memory. Fortunately, rehydration can reverse most of these difficulties.
It is important to keep in mind that children as well as at the beginning of a season, or new activity you are more prone to dehydration as your body adjusts to the new activity or weather conditions. Children are at a greater risk of dehydration as they often forget to consume enough water to replenish their fluids over the course of their activity.
Good hydration is associated with many health benefits some of which include: reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, high blood pressure and heart disease. Proper hydration has also been shown to help with weight loss.
Tips to help Maximize Hydration:
- Fruits and vegetables contain lots of water
- Drink water with all your meals-try to replace soft drinks juices with water. When you are eating out, say yes to water even if you are ordering another drink
- Carry a water bottle with you-If you have one with you when you are at work, school or just running errands, you are more likely to drink it
- Add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber slices to your water to add some flavour and keep you motivated to drink more.
- Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010; 68(8): 439-58. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x.
- Jéquier E, Constant F. Water as an essential nutriment: The physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010; 65: 877. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2011.41.
- Stookey JD, Constant F, Popkin BM, Gardner CD. Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008; 16(11): 2481-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.409.
- Van Walleghen EL, Orr JS, Gentile CL, Davy BM. Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007; 15(1): 93-9.
- Health Canada. Questions and Answers for Educators: Canada’s Food Guide. Available from: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/educ-comm/faq_educat-eng.php. Accessed January 11, 2017.