For the last couple of days, the weather in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area has been experiencing a heat wave just like so many other areas of the country.
When it is hot outside, I make sure that I have plenty of water in the water bottle that I carry with me.
Why? Because water is healthy for me.
You might not feel that this is a good enough reason to drink water. Maybe this will seem like a better reason for you.
Water makes up about two thirds of our body. Without water we would not be able to survive.
Every day our body loses water in normal processing, in chemical reactions, when we go to the bathroom (both urination and defecation), sweating, and small amounts each time we exhale.
Water is important for temperature regulation, lubricating your joints, protecting our spinal cord and other sensitive tissue, and as I stated earlier, removing waste from the body.
It is important for us to drink water or eat foods that our bodies can convert to water, every day.
When the weather is extremely hot our bodies lose water faster than it normally does. When we are exercising we lose water faster too.
If you're exercising when the weather is hot, it is even more important to make sure water is part of your daily routine. This means drinking water even when you don’t feel thirsty.
In naturopathic school we learned that our thirst sensors may not be sensitive enough to let us know that we want something to drink at the moment that we need more water. Instead the sensors are designed to give us signals that we are thirsty when our levels of water begin to affect our body’s normal processing.
Hydration comes from drinking water or something that adds water content to your body.
Fluids that contain caffeine can act as a diuretic and cause your body to lose water content instead of gain water, especially if you are drinking more than 40 ounces per day.
Sodas (regular or diet), coffee or teas that have caffeine should not be considered hydrating, especially during the hot weather.