Warm weather is here. As the temperatures rise and our activity increases, it is very important that we do our best to stay hydrated. There are so many reasons that proper hydration is important.

Our body is made up of about 60% water. You might be surprised to learn just how much water (or lack of) affects your body’s ability to function properly. During any physical activity, our body uses water. By drinking enough water you can keep up your energy level, increase performance and keep your maximum heart rate lower. Your heart is able to pump blood throughout your body more efficiently and therefore makes your muscles work better. You might not be as sore after working out either!

Not only does staying hydrated help with blood flow and muscle function, it also helps with bloating, keeps your digestive system moving, flushes toxins out of your body, improves the appearance of your skin, helps you think clearer, reduces headaches, aids in weight loss, boosts your mood, and helps protect against some illnesses and diseases.

Your body retains water and salt when you don’t drink enough water. It does this in order to keep functioning properly for as long as possible until you rehydrate. By drinking enough water, your body releases the excess salt and water, decreasing body bloat. This may make you look slimmer and will definitely make you feel better.

Kidney health also is affected by water intake. By not drinking enough water, your kidneys work harder to flush toxins from your body. This can sometimes lead to the development of kidney stones. (I say keep the water coming!)

Water is an important part of your digestion also. By consuming enough water you can keep your digestive system working smoothly.

It is very important to know the signs of dehydration. Some of the symptoms are: headache, dizziness, dry mouth, decreased urine out-put or dark urine, dry skin, fatigue, constipation, muscle cramps, and increased thirst.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a complete list of symptoms. If you think you may be dehydrated, please see your doctor as severe dehydration can be very serious.

I know that I have a hard time drinking enough throughout the day. Sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking ‘plain old water’. I have a possible solution for you if you feel the same way.

INFUSE YOUR WATER WITH HERBS, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!! This gives that bland water delicious flavor, adds nutrients and makes you want to drink it!

Infusing your water is a very easy process. Just choose the combination of fruit, veggies and herbs you want to flavor your water with. Cut one cup of fruit or vegetables (or both) into bite size pieces and mash just slightly to release the juices. Take about 3 tablespoons, of your desired herb and gently bruise the leaves. Add all ingredients to a container (jar, water bottle, pitcher – whatever you want) Add water to the container. You may choose to add a natural sweetener, such as honey, also. Place container in the refrigerator and let set for at least one hour. This should keep for about a week.

Here are some possible combinations for you to check out. If you come up with a great combination that I have not listed, I would love to hear from you!

Happy hydrating!

Cucumber, strawberry, thyme
Strawberry, lemon, basil
Cucumber, lemon, mint, rosemary
Cantaloupe, honey, mint
Blackberry, sage
Blueberry, pomegranate, mint
Blackberry, lime, cilantro, mint
Mango, basil
Cucumber, mint
Strawberry, rosemary
Watermelon, mint