H2O is oh-so-good for you!
8/23/2018 by The Mayo Clinic Employee Well-being Team
Our bodies are about 60% water, which makes water vital to keeping everything working the way it should. That includes delivering nutrients, carrying away waste, lubricating and cushioning joints, maintaining our blood volume and body temperature, and assisting chemical reactions in our cells.
A lack of water can lead to dehydration. Even mild dehydration can:
- Deplete your energy
- Cause fatigue and tiredness
- Lead to feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Give you a headache
The exact amount of water you need to drink every day depends on many factors, including your overall health, how active you are, and the climate and altitude where you live. Experts often advise drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Exercise affects your need for fluids, too. The amount you need to drink depends on how much you sweat, as well as the duration and type of exercise. In general, it's recommended that you:
- Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes of exercise
- Continue replacing fluids after you've finished exercising
- Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of sweat lost during exercise
During long sessions of intense exercise, you may need a sports drink to help replace electrolytes lost while sweating.
Contrary to what advertisers tell us, plain tap water is perfectly good for our bodies. It does the job of keeping us hydrated, doesn't cost extra, and there's no container to dispose of or recycle. But if you'd like your water to have a little pizzazz, you can make your own infused, flavored water.
Basically, you're adding fresh herbs, vegetables and fresh or frozen fruit to water and letting it sit while the flavors of those ingredients seep into the water. Here's how to do it:
- Start with a large, clean glass jar with a lid. Fill it with tap water.
- Choose add-ins that are fresh and don't have any bad spots. Wash them, then cut the ingredients into thin slices or small chunks and add to the water.
- Let the water and flavoring ingredients sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. The longer the infusion time, the more flavorful the water will be.
- Pour into a glass or water bottle and enjoy!
Need some ideas for add-ins? Try these combinations:
- Cucumber + raspberry
- Kiwi + lime
- Blueberry + lemon
- Watermelon + basil
- Mint + strawberry
- Orange + thyme
- Celery + apples
Have fun creating your own combinations, and drink up!