It’s All About the Food: Hydration

  | Food For Thought, Nutrition

We all know that hydration is so important in the heat of the summer, but do we think about it now, in the middle of winter? The body needs hydration any day of the year—no matter the temperature—in the form of LIQUIDS, and some of us are better than others at paying special attention to that in any season. It applies to each and everyone—at any age.

Water makes up a whopping 60 to 70 percent of the body, and when we don’t get enough fluids, our body suffers and it can lead to dehydration, a serious medical issue. Fluids are needed for normal daily functions. The body continually needs fluids for all the cells, tissues, and organs to work at their optimum level. The skin is an integral component of the body, since it is tissue. Dry skin is a common winter occurrence since our daily environment involves dry heat from furnaces and wood stoves and low humidity in the air, but keeping ourselves adequately hydrated can help with this problem. The immune system also is affected by low fluid intake; it works more efficiently with ample fluids. The brain works better too! The recommended amount of fluids varies from one person to another based on their weight and activity level, but approximately 1½ to 2 quarts daily is suggested. Water, seltzer, and tea can count towards your fluid intake but soda, alcohol, and coffee are not recommended as a source of fluids. Many fruits and vegetables also contain a high percentage of water and can provide hydration as well as vitamins and minerals!

Start your day off with a large glass of water and continue drinking regularly throughout the day. Jazz up your water with a twist of lemon or lime or a squirt of fruit juice but keep the liquids flowing! If you replenish your fluids, no matter what the weather, your body will be very appreciative—and you will feel much stronger and energetic too!

by Chris Ellis, Staff Nutritionist