Hydration is essential to good health, to staying pain free, and to performing your best. Your body is made up of between 60-75% water. Water is used in every organ, joint, tissue, and cell in your body. Water is essential for maintaining body temperature, breaking down food we eat into usable energy, eliminating waste products, and lubricating joints. Water is the main component of blood, cerebral spinal fluid, muscles, and your brain.
How much water do we need to drink daily to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration? It depends on the person, environment, and activity level. Drinking 8 cups of water a day is a good start. Very cold and very hot environments both mean you need to drink more water. Being in the sun or an air conditioned environment means you need to drink more water. The more you exercise and sweat the more you need to drink to replenish what you lost.
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Does drinking coffee, tea, soft drinks, sports drinks, and alcohol count towards our 8 cups a day? The easy answer is no. While some liquids will dehydrate you and some might help hydrate you, it's best to try to get at least 8 cups of water a day. The more you replace other beverages with water, the healthier you become.