The Importance of Water and Hydration in the Summer
Now that the sun is out and summer is officially here, it is easy to get outside and enjoy the warm weather without thinking about staying hydrated. Drinking enough water in the summer is incredibly important to your body and the effectiveness of your internal organs.
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water, while the lungs are about 83 percent water. The skin contains 64 percent water, muscles and kidneys are 79 percent water, and even the bones are watery at 31 percent.
Each day, especially in the summer and warmer temperatures, humans must consume a certain amount of water to survive. Of course, this varies according to age and gender, and also by where someone lives. On average, an adult male needs about 100 ounces of water per day, while an adult female needs about 75 ounces per day. While that seems like a lot of water, some of this amount of water is consumed through food too.
Water is Essential to Function
Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going:
- A vital nutrient to the life of every cell in our body
- It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
- The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream
- It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
- Acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord and fetus for pregnant women
- Forms saliva (Ever had to deal with dry mouth? Not fun, is it?)
- Lubricates joints
While your body will absorb water through food and other drinks (sports drinks for example), but the best source of water is – believe it or not – water! When you’re moving around in the summer or even laying on the beach, your body is losing fluids as you’re sweating. So even if you’re dozing off on a beach towel working on your tan, it is still just as important to drink water to make sure you’re replacing lost fluids.
If you have recently had a massage or an adjustment to help with an injury, then water is incredibly important in your path to recovery. The intervertebral discs in your spine consist largely of water and at birth, discs are about eighty percent water, though this usually declines with age according to True Health. Drinking lots of water after a massage or an adjustment will help your body nourish the discs between the vertebrae, keeping your spine supple and flexible.
The Dehydration Effect
When your body is without enough water, dehydration sets in and starts affecting your body almost immediately. According to Everyday Health, severe dehydration has serious health consequences, but even mild dehydration may be damaging. Research shows that losing just 2 percent of your normal, well-hydrated body weight can contribute to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, confusion and impaired mood.
Dehydration can also cause headaches and drinking plenty of water may help to relieve these types of headaches within a few hours. One study in migraine sufferers found that drinking an extra 1.5 liters of water a day reduced the intensity and duration of headaches, though it did not reduce the total number of headaches they experienced. Dehydration is also a major risk factor for kidney stones, which now affect 1 in 11 adults.
To combat dehydration, make sure you have a water bottle or access to water throughout the day. There are plenty of apps to help track water intake throughout your everyday life as well. Fun in the sun is the main reason many of us fight through the cold winter months, so make sure you’re drinking enough water every day so you’re able to enjoy your summer experiences!