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On my final walk up the hill after my workout, some days I have to visualize and fantasize what waits for me at home. I start thinking about the cool air hitting my face as I open the door, taking off my shoes and socks, and walking into the kitchen and having a big tall glass of water. Nothing is quite so refreshing as a big glass of ice water after a workout on a hot day.

I'm going to come out and admit it. I'm a big fan of water. Fill a glass up with ice cubes and some refreshing water, and I'm happy. Best drink there is. When I was a kid, I would sit down and drink my whole glass of water, and then I would fill up on another one. I would have to be reminded to eat my dinner, too.

Water doesn't only taste refreshing and feel good when you drink it, but it's good for your health, too. The human body is made up of 60% water. That's a whole lot of water going on in your body. If you are wondering where the water goes in your body, think of all those bodily fluids you have. All of those fluids needs a little H2O to get going. Water doesn't only make you pee; it also helps regulate a lot of activities in your body.

Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison

If you don't get enough water, you can get dehydrated. When I worked at camp, we used to say, "Hydrate or die!" On a hot day, dehydration can make you sick. Signs of dehydration include dark colored urine, less frequent urination, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, diarrhea, and headaches. Drinking water during hot and humid weather replaces fluids you are losing through sweating. If you develop diarrhea from becoming dehydrated, this could cause further dehydration. Start by drinking a glass of clean, fresh drinking water if you experience any of the above symptoms.

One thing we know is that not all water is created equally. Do not drink water that has been sitting out in the sun all day, that is brown in color, or that you are unsure of the source. In those cases, be sure to plan ahead to have fresh, cool, drinking water available. Carry a water bottle with you in the summer to ensure that you have water readily available.

I can hear someone saying right now, "But, I don't like water. It tastes gross!" If you don't like the taste of water, maybe you can add some lemon or other fruit to the water to give it a little extra flavor. You can also try adding single serving drink mixes. That is a nice treat, and it also gives you an added reason to drink more water during the day. One of the best things about water is that it has zero calories. So, drinking that extra glass of water won't blow your diet or make you take calories away from something else. Instead of reaching for a soda or a sports drink, reach for a nice tall glass of water.

Mayo Clinic. Diseases and Conditions. Dehydration. Found online at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy Weight. Rethink Your Drink. Found online at: