The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Michael Sampson--Out of all sources of hydration, water should be your first pick.

When it comes to choosing a source of hydration, you cannot go wrong with H2O.

Even though most of us have been told throughout our lives that water is the best source of hydration, it is sometimes disregarded for juice, soda, coffee and sports drinks. While most people know about the negative physical effects it has on our bodies, there is a misconception that juice is just as healthy as water.

According to the article, “7 Wonders of Water” by WebMD, our body is made up of about 70 percent water. In order for our body to function to the best of its ability, we need to drink about eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day. It is important to be consistently hydrated in order to avoid stress on both the body and the mind.

From “The Importance of Staying Hydrated in the Winter” article by Self Magazine, the health benefits from water outweigh any other source of hydration because it is natural. Water is an essential nutrient all chemical reactions in the body depend on. It is also what keeps toxins flushed out. If there is not enough water to dilute the body’s negative products, kidney stones may form.

“After my kidney stones I only drink water, I add lemons to it which adds flavor,” Amanda Gruntz, a senior, said.

Fatigue, headaches and back pain may be caused by dehydration. To avoid this, try to drink two cups of water with each meal. This will also help suppress hunger.

Water can also hydrate your skin and make it look healthier and, later on in life, more youthful. Muscles also need enough water to prevent cramps.

If you are not disciplined to only drink water and limit consumption of other beverages, there are other options.

Real fruit juice and milk without chemical additives, artificial colors or sugars are a healthy alternative to water.

Milk is a great way to get essential vitamins, proteins and minerals necessary for growth and development.

“In the caf, I drink chocolate milk. The taste is awesome and it’s healthier than the other options besides water,” Rachel Jack, a senior, said.

If you must drink something with flavor, choose 100 percent juice that is organic, unsweetened and fresh. These drinks do contain sugar but they are natural and slightly healthier. However, remember to consume these tasty beverages in moderation.

However, warns juice can sometimes be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It cannot be the sole source of hydration because even though juice is a good source of vitamins, it is very high in sugar which can cause dehydration and weaken the immune system.

Juices can also have a negative impact on dental health. The natural sugar content can affect your teeth. The juice from lemons and oranges can wear down enamel at an accelerated speed due to citric acid.
Patricia Chuey, a registered dietitian and sport nutritionist suggests that by eliminating sweetened drinks you can cut your calorie intake by 10 percent.

It is fine to have some flavor, but if you deprive yourself of water you will have some serious physical effects.