Diet & Wellness

From food fundamentals to nutrition and wellness, a healthy diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

How Staying Hydrated Helps Your Body

How Staying Hydrated Helps Your Body

Hydration is important every day because it keeps you feeling and performing at your best. But it's even more critical to pay attention to fluid intake in hot temperatures, during extended air travel, vigorous exercise and after the occasional cocktail. Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body and it's needed for important jobs such as regulating body temperature, maintaining healthy skin and joints, digesting food, and helping the brain function at its best. That's why losing just one to two percent of body fluids can impact physical performance and, more seriously, it can affect cognition. The good news is that with a little know-how, you can defend against dehydration. How Much Fluid Should You Drink in a Day? Like food, there is a ton of information available about hydration, but knowing what's well-grounded can be more difficult to discern. "We've all heard the 'eight glasses per day' rule, but that amount is only a general guideline and may not be enough fluid intake during more dehydrating environments or situations," explains Abbott research scientist Jennifer Williams, MPH. The National Academy of Medicine recommends drinking more water daily to keep properly hydrated — 2.7 liters of fluid or 11.4 cups of water for women and 3.7 liters or 15.6 cups for men. Williams notes that fluid needs will vary depending on age and activity level, and adds that a variety of fluids can help with hydration, like water, tea, coffee or even milk. When you drink your fluids matters too, and Williams recommends hydrating before bed, upon waking and before, during and after vigorous exercise.

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