The Importance of Hydration
It's good we live on a blue planet, because we all really do rely on water.
Water plays a crucial role on our planet. Everything, including humans, relies on it, and it's easily apparent the role water plays when we see the contrast in dry desert climates as opposed to tropical ones. Water caters to life, and with enough water around, life thrives. Thankfully we ended up on Earth and not on Mars, but it's still important that we take care of this invaluable resource, and though it may be plentiful, our bodies know the difference in quality.
Water does many things for our bodies. It regulates our body temperature (have you ever noticed how hot you get when you're dehydrated), keeps our joints lubricated, helps to prevent infections, delivers vital nutrients to our cells, keeps our organs functioning properly, and helps improve sleep quality, cognition, and mood among so many other things.
According to an article published by Harvard's School of Public Health, experts recommend that the average woman drink around 11 cups of water a day and they recommend 16 cups for the average man. Of course, it varies slightly person to person, and for us at Epic, living in a dry climate and at a higher altitude in Colorado, we tend to refill our bottles more frequently.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, sad to say sugary beverages don't count. Sugary drinks only further our dehydration, so stay away from those if your body needs more water.
As we approach summer and the weather warms up, our bodies will require more water than they do in the colder months. With the hotter weather, drinking more water helps our bodies stay cool and replenishes any fluids lost through sweating. It's also important to drink water regularly throughout the day rather than drinking a large amount all at once for the sake of our kidneys :)
Our bodies are composed of about 66 percent water, that's quite a bit! Our bones are composed of 22 percent water, our muscles are composed of 76 percent, and our blood is 83 percent. Even more than that, our lungs are 90 percent water and our brains are 95% water! The body can last up to six weeks without food, but it can only last one week without water. So while fasting from food may be appealing at times, fasting from water should be taken off the table for consideration.
Like all things, drinking water is a habit, and if it's one that you don't currently have, here are some tips to get you started (and if you're an avid water drinker like we are, these can still help):
1. Drink some some water when you wake up first thing in the morning. Your body has been fasting all night and is likely dehydrated, so it's important to get everything going again with a nice glass of water. One of our team members likes to have a full glass water on his bedside table so he can easily wake up and start the day right.
2. Remember to drink throughout the day - this could be a good way to take a break from working, or for yourself. Just take a few sips from your glass or bottle and take a moment to breathe.
3. Always have water handy. It's much easier to drink if you have it close by and don't have to work too hard to get it. At work, we all like to have our bottles on our desks and have some pitchers nearby for refills. The straw also helps us drink more, plus it makes it a little more fun!
4. Feel free to mix it up. Add lemon, lime, mint, or other herbs to your water for something a little more exciting. Though, we recommend adding this to a glass of already filtered water (like from our pitcher) as opposed to directly in your bottle, filter and all.
5. Notice how you feel when you're hydrated. Are you more alert, more clear of mind? Does your body feel better? Use your body's cues to guide you and listen to it when you do something that makes it feel good, and then do that some more :)
The Importance of Hydration. Harvard T.H. Chan. Retrieved on May 4, 2020 from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/
The Importance of Hydration. Texercise. Retrieved on May 4, 2020 from https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/services/health/texercise/importance-of-hydration.pdf
The Importance of Staying Hydrated. (2015, June). Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved on May 4, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated
Crazy about clean water, rocks (climbing them), and gardening
- Forrest Gallagher