Greetings from Las Vegas! I’m here for the next few days for my second nutritional workshop. My midterm exam is in the morning so wish me luck! In the meantime, I’ve been preparing for the test and soaking up a little vitamin D at the pool. If Atlanta is hot, then Vegas is sizzling (currently 102 degrees outside as I type this!). With the summer we’ve been having, it’s more important than ever for us to stay hydrated.
Water is a macro-nutrient that we Americans take for granted. In fact, it’s the number one nutritional deficiency in the U.S. population. But as I’ve been learning in my nutrition studies, water is so vital for our health. It makes up 60% of our body composition and we can only go a matter of days without it. Here’s a few roles of H20 in the body:
- Improves oxygen delivery to cells
- Transports nutrients
- Enables cellular hydration
- Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
- Cushions bones and joints
- Absorbs shocks to the joints and organs
- Regulates body temperature
- Removes wastes
- Flushes toxins
- Lubricates the joints
- Improves cell-to-cell communication
- Maintains normal electrical properties of cells
- Empowers the body’s natural healing process
The body can only produce about 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes, and the remaining 92% must be ingested through our foods and beverages. Since we can’t store it, we have to be diligent about staying hydrated every single day. The general rule for minimum daily water intake is half your body weight in ounces. Add 12-16 ounces to this number for every 8 ounces of diuretics (sodas, coffee, caffeinated teas, alcohol and packaged fruit juices) that you drink.
Some of the early signs of dehydration are fatigue, irritability, anxiety, cravings, cramps and headaches. We’re so quick to take pain medicine when what we really need is to DRINK WATER!
Are you getting enough water? If not, I really recommend making it a priority, especially in this harsh heat. I’m thirsty just writing this post! Ok gotta get ready for a study session.