As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, we have launched this blog series dedicated entirely to different areas of mental wellness. These blogs are based on a mental wellness initiative that we have started within our communities for our residents entitled “Recharge Your Battery”. This initiative focuses on mental wellness strategies and equips our associates with the tools they need to check in with our residents and to address any needs, just as we would with physical health.
For today’s topic, we’ll be focusing on hydration. The human body is composed of roughly 66% water. Our bones are composed of 22 percent water, muscles are 76 percent and blood is 83 percent. Lungs are 90 percent, and our brains are actually 95 percent water. Proper hydration affects the body’s optimal function, mood and productivity. According to the Texas State Department of Health and Human Services, water also plays the following roles in the body.
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body.
- Serves as the main property of blood, which carries nutrients to cells and carries wastes out of the body.
- Helps convert food into energy.
- Protects and cushions vital organs.
- Lubricates joints.
- Regulates body temperature.
- Moistens oxygen for breathing.
- Water is essential for our senses to work properly. Hearing waves are transmitted through fluids in the ear, light is reflected through fluids in the eye, and food and odors must be dissolved in water for taste and smell.
- Water is one of the six nutrients essential for life (water, fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals).
- The body can last up to six weeks without food, but only one week without water.
Being dehydrated throws off the delicate dopamine and serotonin balances in the brain, natural chemicals that can increase/affect depression and anxiety. One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your mood is by drinking a glass of water. Getting hydrated can quite literally calm your nerves.
- Set a goal – we recommend at least 32 ounces per day.
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you.
- Set reminders throughout the day to reach your intake goal.
- Replace other drinks with water – sugary drinks like juice or soda dehydrate you. Caffeinated beverages serve as a diuretic so they also dehydrate the body.
- Drink one glass of water before each meal.
- Flavor your water – you can even infuse it with herbs, fruit or vegetables. We love infusing water with cucumber and mint.
- Eat more foods high in water like lettuce, melons, celery, cabbage, etc.
It’s easy to go about your day without taking a sip of water. We hope these tips and facts help you to understand how essential hydration is for overall wellness and to remember to stay hydrated throughout your day. Cheers!