Why is it important to stay hydrated?
What most people do not realize is that your body depends on water to survive. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and helps to keep your joints working.
How much water/fluid should you drink daily?
It is recommended that the average person consume six 8-ounce cups of fluid daily. However, if you are doing rigorous physical activity or working outdoors in the heat, you may require more fluids. On the other hand, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Water intake must be individualized, and you should check with your doctor if you are not sure about the right amount for you. In addition to water, fruit and vegetable juices, milk and herbal teas can help you stay hydrated.
If you do not consume enough water/fluid over time, you may become dehydrated. It is important to look out for the following signs:
- Little or no urine
- Urine is darker than normal
- Dry mouth
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Extreme thirst
In extreme cases you could also experience headache, confusion, and dizziness or lightheadedness.
Tips to staying hydrated:
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
- Drink water before, during, and after a workout or working outdoors.
- If your job is in an outdoor setting, keep a bottle of water near you and drink from it often.
- If you sweat a lot during workouts or on the job, sports drinks will help to not only help your body to absorb water, but also help to replace those electrolytes lost.
For more information contact Shakera Williams, MPH, Assistant Extension Agent—Nutrition, Webster Parish Extension Office
(Shakera Williams, M.P.H. is Assistant Nutrition Extension Agent- FCS for Webster/Claiborne parishes. Contact her at (318) 371-1371.)
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