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With pools and beaches open and summer temperatures soaring, it’s easy to spend the day in the sun. But being in the water isn’t the same as drinking the water (and it’s probably not a good idea to drink the water you’re bathing in)!

Water makes up 60% of our bodies. We can survive 30-40 days without food, as long as there is sufficient water, but only 3 days without it. Water is vital for almost every function of the body, from head to toe. It helps maintain blood volume and circulation, regulates body temperature, and transports waste materials. Water also lubricates our organs, acts as a shock absorber for our joints and brain, and keeps all the motors running efficiently.

Drinking water before exercise helps reduce the fatigue and soreness you feel after a workout. It also allows your heart to function well, which lowers your heart rate so your sweat is worth it. In the long term, water can help you lose weight.

In general, people who drink more water also experience happier and more peaceful moods, better focus, and less day-time sleepiness!

Let me do this every day, and I’ll be less cranky! Promise!

Feeling thirsty? You’re already dehydrated. Developing a headache? Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of dehydration; oftentimes they can be reversed simply by drinking up! The amount of water we need per day depends on other factors, but generally, women should drink about 2.21 liters and men should drink 3 liters, daily. Other factors include things like environmental temperature, medication/medical issues, and level/duration of activity. When you sweat more, you need to drink more…even if you’re just snoozing in the shade.

Most beverages will hydrate – a big exception that does not is alcohol! Water, of course, is considered the best because naturally, it doesn’t contain dye, sugar, caffeine, or preservatives. Know your source…water can contain harmful things, but generally, it’s the best. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add raspberries, mint, or a slice of lemon or lime (just remember to wash the outside of the fruit before you slice)!

Many fruits and vegetables naturally provide water but not enough, and fruit juices, though they hydrate, can also have added sugar and preservatives that might contribute negatively to your bikini bod! Same goes for sports drinks, pop and diet pop.

It used to be believed that caffeine, which has a diuretic effect, inhibited proper hydration, so TEA, hot or iced, was frowned on. Studes have proven that this just isn’t the case when consumed in moderation. If caffeine is a concern, try green tea, which has less caffeine, or an herbal tea/fruit infusion, which has none. Always read the labels so you don’t find out you swapped for lower caffeine, but ended up with higher sugar.

If you know you’re going to be out in the heat for awhile, grab a glass before you go! There are lots of travel options for easy transport. And tank up again when you get home. Remember to drink after the sun has gone down too. Just because the sun has gone to bed, doesn’t mean you stop perspiring!

Finally, since water is important to all life, consider sharing with your backyard neighbours. Keeping it fresh helps them and eliminates standing water for spawning mosquitoes, neighbours you don’t want!

Water is the driving force of all nature.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Happy Monday!