I recently saw a video (posted below) that made me think about the importance of drinking water. The song is rather catchy–Two young girls and their mother sing, “Water, the naturally nurturing drink.” They could not be any more right. Aside from properly sleeping and eating, drinking water is one of the most crucial acts of life. The Healthy Communities Institute reports that nearly 75% of Americans experience chronic dehydration. Especially during these summer months when it gets excessively hot, water revitalizes your body.
Our bodies are about 60% – 65% water, and we lose about 1 quart of our water when we sweat while exercising and playing sports. It’s very important to drink water while being active. Many of us prefer a cold beverage, but warm or lukewarm water does the trick as well. While you may prefer the coolness, your body won’t know the difference!
Tips to remember about staying hydrated:
- About 2 – 3 hours before your activity (e.g., dance, running, playing basketball) drink a few glasses of water. This will make your muscles fluid and keep them moving freely. (Nobody likes cramps!)
- While active, try to drink every 20 minutes. You’ll be constantly sweating and at the same time, constantly replenishing your body. Try to drink small amounts, because too much water will cause you to feel uncomfortable.
- When you’re finished, continue to drink a few glasses of water.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be surprised at how much more effective you will be at your activities. You will have an easier time dancing or exercising and will even be able to stay active longer.
They say milk does a body good, but so does water!
Jonathan T. Reid, MPH is a clinical researcher and the new Lead Health Educator and Health Blogger for Dance Daze. He has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Public Health degree from New York University.