Why Drinking Water Is Important for Your Health & Digestion: 3 Easy Ways to Prioritize Hydration by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
Water is vital for the proper function of virtually every cell, tissue and organ in the body. It helps regulate body temperature and acts as a “shock absorber” for the brain and spinal cord, and it lubricates joints, organs and tissues. And one of its most essential roles is in aiding proper digestion and delivery of nutrients to your cells.
If more people really thought about how much their digestive systems do for them every day, they might be more inclined to take better care of their digestive health. Your digestive system has a huge job: it breaks down the foods that you eat in order to make nutrients and energy available to the body, and it’s also responsible for steering unwanted waste out of the body, too, all of which requires adequate hydration.
Regardless of whether you’re spending your summer outdoors or choosing to remain at home, staying active, hydrated and making sure that your diet contains an abundance of plant foods are all key to digestive health. We all know we should drink water, but we don’t always set ourselves up for success. Here are three ways to prioritize your hydration:
- Start your day with a beverage. Set out some water next to your bed at night and drink it as soon as you wake up – you’ll create a good habit that can last a lifetime.
- Hydrate throughout your workouts. Regular exercise also supports digestive health in a couple of ways. As your muscles contract and your breath deepens during activity, the natural contractions of your intestinal muscles are stimulated, too, which helps to move food through your system. Ensure you’re properly hydrating before, during and after trainings to help support the process.
- Make it interesting. Add in citrus, herbs, fruit or a splash of juice to amp up the taste; go for a bubbly, unsweetened option; have some tea with lemon; keep a pitcher in the fridge for a nice icy blast on a warm day.
Whatever way you choose to stay hydrated, even a little bit more water on a daily basis can make a big difference.
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