Drink Up: The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Living in the Sunshine State certainly has its advantages—sunny, warm weather is much more common here than in other parts of the country. However, Florida residents must also be more aware of their water intake to ensure they stay properly hydrated. Knowing exactly how much water to drink can be a difficult question to answer, but having some guidelines and suggestions from top clinics and government agencies can be a great starting point.

First, why is water so important? Our bodies are 60 percent water, and every part of your body needs water to properly function. Water helps regulate body temperature, cushion joints, and rid the body of toxins. Without proper hydration, the body will become dehydrated, which impedes these everyday functions and can cause headaches and fatigue.

Many factors impact how much water you should consume beyond local temperatures. How much you weigh, how much physical activity you do, and if you are currently sick can play a part as well. Additionally, you don’t have to get your water exclusively through drinking. Foods, especially soups and fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as melons and cucumbers, can contribute towards your daily intake. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men, on average, should consume 125 ounces of water a day, and women, on average, should consume 91 ounces of water a day. Keep in mind that those are totals, including approximately 18-25 ounces of water from food.

Reaching those goals may seem daunting at first. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking a glass of water with each meal and a glass in between meals, and if you are exercising, drinking before, during, and after your workout. Keep a bottle of water with you always to make sure drinking water is easy and convenient for you. Make sure you talk to your doctor about changes you want to make to your water intake prior to beginning. With a little planning and a conscious effort, staying hydrated will be a breeze!