Drink more water

January 9, 2008 6:17:21 PM PST
It's a fact: every system of your body needs water. Actually, most of your body is water. Muscle tissue alone is composed of more than 70% water. This vital fluid is needed everyday for the body to function normally everyday, especially when exercising. And yet, many do not consume enough water. Here are five tips about water intake. 1. Don't underestimate the value of water. Water regulates body temperature, transports nutrients and oxygen, carries away waste, and helps to cushion the body from injury.

2. Watch for dehydration. Even mild dehydration can lead to health problems. Loss of appetite, headaches, and dizziness can be symptoms of dehydration.

3. Not all beverages provide hydration. Caffeinated beverages and alcohol act as diuretics and increase fluid loss, so you'll have to consume extra water to counter-balance that effect.

4. Drink before you are thirsty. If you wait until you actually get the signal to drink, you will already be slightly dehydrated.

5. Drink often when exercising. Perspiration is the body's way to cool off when exercising, so you must replace water at a faster pace than usual. Two cups of water is recommended two hours before exertion, followed by another two cups 15 to 20 minutes before endurance exercise. Replenish fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.

The Houston YMCA is an advertiser in our 'Get Healthy Houston' program