Water is integral to your everyday living. It maintains organs and cells, regulates body temperature, moves blood and nutrients through the body, and aids in digestion and many bodily functions. It keeps your skin, nose and eyes moisturized. We all understand that hydration is key, but it can sometimes be hard to discern when hydration can make a small or huge difference in the pain or discomfort you’re experiencing.
How does water help speed up recovery?
Water is what helps thin the blood and move nutrients and oxygen through the body. That’s why it’s crucial to drink a lot of water after an injury or surgery, so that these cell-repairing nutrients can be easily brought to the recovering area.
What can I drink to help recover from an injury or surgery?
Water is usually the best option for rehydrating. You should limit caffeinated beverages and avoid sports drinks because the sodium in them can cause water retention which makes it difficult to reduce swelling. Sugary drinks should also be avoided because they can cause blood sugar levels to spike and fall.
How do your body expel water?
There are several ways water leaves the body: through breathing, sweating, and through waste and urine. You’ll also use more water if you’re nursing an infant or you’re sick (i.e. vomiting). That’s why health professionals urge you to drink even more water when you’re exercising or sick, and if you’re in a hot and/ or dry environment.
What are some signs that you need to drink more water?
Thirst is the main symptom, but by the time you realize you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Some other signs include:
- Dark and decreased urine
- Foul breath
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
How can I remember to drink water?
- Make it part of your routine. When you wake up, drink two glasses. Have at least one glass with each meal. Every time you have a snack, have some water with it.
- Set a reminder in your calendar once an hour to drink a glass.
- Keep a glass or a water bottle nearby (on your desk if at work), and make sure to drink at least eight ounces within an hour.
I don’t like the taste of water. What else can I drink?
There are lots of ways to improve the taste of water.
- Caffeine-free tea or iced tea.
- Water with lemon or orange slices.
- Water with mint leaves.
- Coconut water – but make sure you alternate with regular water as well.
Read about other ways to stay hydrated!