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‘Stay hydrated!’ We hear and say that over and over again, especially during the hot weather. But do we really know why we need to hydrate. Every part of your body, down to the smallest cell, requires water to function. Over half of your body weight is made up of water. Water is used to maintain body temperature, eliminate waste, and to help keep your organs and joints in working order. So without water, your body ceases to function. And if you aren’t getting enough water, your body doesn’t function as well as it could.

It doesn’t take exercise to lose water. We lose water continuously just from our normal everyday body functions like our heart beating. Obviously the harder the body works, the more water we lose which is why it is important to drink extra fluids if you are doing a lot of sweating due to exercise/exertion or heat.

I suspect everyone has heard the ‘8 glasses a day’ rule. Some of the research I was doing suggests that 30 milliliters for each kilogram of body weight is an appropriate amount for each person. But it can be challenging to keep track of the actual measured amount you are drinking. Personally I find the urine method the easiest way to know quickly if I’m drinking enough. Clear and light coloured urine means you are hydrated; darker means you need some more water.

The best way to stay hydrated is the obvious – drink water. Juices, teas, and energy drinks can all help replenish the water in your system but remember that they can also contain sugars or other substances you may not want too much of so be mindful of what is in your drinks. Fruit, like tasty watermelon, can help add some water to your body.

Enjoy the summer weather and remember ‘Stay hydrated!’