By Dana Ryan, Ph.D., M.A. – Director, Sports Performance and Education

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we must do in order to keep our bodies working properly. This obviously means drinking water every day to make sure that every cell and every organ in your body receives the hydration it needs to function. Here are a few interesting hydration tidbits to discuss with your friends and co-workers around the water cooler:

Hydration can help maintain an ideal weight
Water can be an effective weight-loss tool because it helps you feel full! Try drinking one to two glasses about a half-hour before eating to help control your appetite.

A good rule of thumb
When training, especially in hot conditions, it is important to check body weight before and after exercise to ensure that you are not losing too much weight. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, drink 16–24 ounces of fluids after finishing your workout.

Dehydration is no joke
Proper hydration is critical not only for general body functions, but also performance. Research suggests that being dehydrated as little as 2% from normal levels can impair performance. The more dehydrated you are, the greater the negative impact it has on performance.

We all know how important it is to consume fluids during exercise, but it’s just as important to make sure you are properly hydrated before starting your workout.

Remember, 60–70% of our body weight is from water, so being dehydrated affects countless processes in the body – from digestive and joint functions, to the brain and skin.

Hydrate from your plate
Did you know that you don’t have to drink fluids to stay hydrated? You can keep up proper hydration levels by eating high water-containing foods like these:

• Cucumbers
• Watermelon
• Celery
• Tomatoes
• Spinach
• Strawberries

Now that you’ve picked up a few important hydration facts, pour yourself a tall, cool glass of water and make a toast to your health and wellness.