Water Key to Staying Hydrated - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on August 25, 2014

Water Key to Staying Hydrated

Water is essential for everyday life. It’s no magical potion, but water brings many rewards to our bodies. 

Here are six reasons why drinking water is so critical:

  • It helps to maintain body fluids. Our bodies are composed of nearly 60 percent of water. Water helps to facilitate bodily functions such as transporting nutrients, digestion, creating saliva, and maintaining body temperature.
  • It can help to control calories. Although water doesn’t guarantee weight loss, substituting it for high calorie beverages like soda can also help shed some pounds.
  • It helps energize muscles. Cells that don’t maintain the proper amount of water and electrolytes shrivel, resulting in muscle fatigue. Drinking water while participating in physical activities will help prevent muscle cramping from taking place. Experts suggest consuming water two hours before the activity, then about one half cup every 15 minutes during exercise.
  • It helps to keep your skin clear. Skin contains quite a bit of water and functions as a barrier to lock in moisture. Water won’t erase wrinkles and fine lines, but dehydration makes skin look more dry and wrinkled.
  • It helps your kidneys. Water helps to transport toxins through the kidneys and out of the body. In addition, if not enough water is consumed, there’s a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
  • It helps to maintain normal bowel functions. Keeping hydrated keeps the fluids flowing within the large intestines and prevents constipation.


Dehydration is a serious heat-related illness. On hot days, staying hydrated is critical. Drink plenty of water, especially when working or playing in the sun. Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • Thirst
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth and mucous membranes
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
In children, additional symptoms may include:
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • No tears when crying
  • No wet diapers for more than three hours
  • Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
  • High fever
  • Listlessness
  • Irritability
  • Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

The symptoms of dehydration may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Some of the information for this article was provided by WebMD.

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Water Key to Staying Hydrated