The Doctors at South Tampa Immediate Care in Tampa, FL, Explain the Importance of Staying Hydrated

importance-of-staying-hydratedWhile you may be feeling extra thirsty in the Florida heat this summer, staying hydrated is essential to good health and general well-being year round. In fact, proper hydration provides numerous benefits. For example, drinking enough water can:

  • Provide energy – A cup of coffee may get you going in the morning, but because caffeine is a diuretic, it reduces the amount of water in your system and thus can make you feel even more tired eventually. Drinking a sufficient amount of water will help keep your energy level up and constant throughout the day.
  • Reduce your appetite – Water stimulates the metabolism and serves as a natural appetite suppressant. In addition, the body’s need for water is often misinterpreted as hunger, so you may end up eating when your body is actually craving water.
  • Detoxify the body – Water serves to flush toxins out of the body’s systems.
  • Aid digestion – Inadequate hydration can lead to problems in the digestive system, such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation. Drinking the right amount of water will aid digestion and help regulate the body’s elimination processes.
  • Prevent disease – Studies show that drinking five or more glasses of water each day is associated with a lower incidence of heart disease, joint pain, and various forms of cancer. In addition, adequate hydration can prevent headaches, water retention, and general fatigue.
  • Promote healthy skin – Proper hydration can help smooth the skin and prevent wrinkles and blemishes, resulting in a healthy, glowing appearance.
  • Optimize performance – Both physical and mental performance rely on the body’s resources, so by regularly replenishing your fluids you can ensure that your body has what it needs to perform. 

An easy way to determine whether you are getting enough fluid is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number by two. The result provides a rough estimate of the amount of water (measured in ounces) that you should be drinking each day. For example, a person who weighs 160 pounds should drink approximately 80 ounces, or ten eight-ounce glasses, of water every 24 hours.

A good indicator of your hydration level is your urine. If you are well-hydrated, you should be urinating often, and your urine should be clear or light in color. The darker your urine, the more you need to hydrate.

To help ensure that you stay well-hydrated throughout the day, try carrying a reusable water bottle. Add slices of fresh fruit, herbs, or drops of juice for a touch of flavor. For more tips on how to stay healthy and safe this summer, be sure to check out our online series of health articles. If you have questions, feel free to contact or visit a Tampa doctor at the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic.