Why Drinking Water Can Make You Smarter

Stay HydratedWarm weather is here, finally! We will be heading to the beach soon for our annual trip. I’m ready to start packing my flip flops and sunscreen. But the other thing I pack and generally have with me all the time are a couple of huge water bottles. The boys and I are really active while playing at the beach and we always pack a ton of water, but I was wondering, have you ever thought about how much water you need to be healthy and hydrated?  The reality, however is that if you are like most Americans, you are most likely chronically dehydrated.

Our bodies are 75% water so getting and staying  hydrated will help maintain optimal health. Why is drinking water so important?

Water flushes out toxins from our vital organs (you know those super important organs like the liver, kidneys and brain). Your kidneys need water to filter waste and help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.  When we are dehydrated we have less blood flow and our heart has to work harder to move blood though our bodies and get oxygen to our cells. Even simple tasks like climbing the stairs can be more stressful on the heart when we are dehydrated.

If you have frequent headaches, are feeling tired, or having difficulty concentrating, try drinking water before you reach for the ibuprofen or something caffeinated. Just being 1-2% dehydrated can affect your mental acuity by as much as 10%. Your body doesn’t register thirst until you are 1% dehydrated.

Getting and staying hydrated is simple. Drink water all throughout the day. And no, chugging a ton of water all at once doesn’t count. Reduce or eliminate sodas and caffeinated beverages because they can dehydrate you and in the case of sodas, they have no nutritional benefit.  If drinking plain water seems a little dull, try adding a slice of cucumber and mint, a chunk of watermelon or pineapple or the old stand-by, lemon. Lemons help detoxify the liver and for an extra added kick, try drinking warm water. I find warm lemon water keeps me (who is always chilly) toasty during winter months.  My skin loves it too. Lack of water reduces skins elasticity. While drinking more water won’t completely erase any wrinkles you may have, it will plump your skin and reduce dark circles under the eyes.
When I taught Zumba, I would always encourage my class to drink water during and after class. We discussed water consumption and how much is enough during one class. I suggested that they try to drink 50-60oz a day and especially before class.  A few weeks later one of my students shared that she had started drinking more water since our discussion and she hadn’t had a headache since then. Revelation.
How much water you need to consume varies from person to person depending on a number of factors, like age, gender, weight and activity level. Click Here to use a cool calculator to determine how much water you should try to drink to stay properly hydrated.

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