From injury prevention to weight loss to whole health, hydration is a critical component of whole health.

When you exercise, you sweat. And when you sweat, you lose fluid. Our bodies are mostly water, so even a slight shortage can make you dehydrated, which describes an insufficient amount of water in your system. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume, which means less oxygen gets to your working muscles; it negatively affects your heart rate; and it compromises energy systems in your muscles. There’s a drop in your energy levels, so you don’t get as much from your fitness workout when you’re dehydrated. That’s why drinking water and having balanced mineral intake is important for whole health. ETTE – BOOT CAMP REEK

Recent studies show that drinking water may play a role in the regulation of your metabolism–your body’s calorie-burning engine. For one thing, if you become dehydrated, your metabolism tends to slow down, meaning that you won’t burn as many calories as normal while at rest. In addition, ample water may reduce appetite and control food intake by making you feel full. Drinking water also dilutes sodium levels in the body, making it the best remedy for fluid retention.

You can avoid dehydration–and the accompanying drop in energy and metabolism–by taking steps to protect yourself ahead of time. Here are some great guidelines for staying hydrated:

• Upon rising, drink 2 cups of water to help cleanse and detoxify your
system. You tend to be dehydrated in the morning, so this is a good
time to replace fluids.

• Drinking water during your fitness workout is imperative. You should
consume 6 to 8 ounces of drinking water every 15 to 20 minutes while
exercising.

• Keep drinking water after exercise. Have two 8-ounce glasses of water
to restore fluids.

• Limit caffeinated drinks and  alcohol. All of these have a diuretic effect, causing fluid loss from your body. If you enjoy caffeine or alcohol, drink at least 12 ounces of water for each libation to balance your hydration. EK

• If you feel hungry, you might actually be thirsty! How can you tell
the difference? Simply drink a glass of water if you think you’re
hungry. If the water satisfies you, you were thirsty, not hungry.

• Don’t like plain water? Flavor a pitcher of plain water with herbs
like mint or basil, or slices of citrus fruits or cucumber.B

• Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you weigh 150lbs, drink 75oz/day.