Everyone knows the importance of drinking enough water, yet almost everyone doesn’t reach their daily ideal amount; especially crucial during warm weather, and for people who regularly exert themselves physically. National Hydration Day, June 23, was created in 2016 to remind people to do just that, hydrate! This day focuses on the positive effects of hydration, the negative aspects of dehydration, as well as the respect and conservation that water deserves. Our bodies are more than 60 -75% water depending on age and gender, children tending to be on the higher side. Our heart and brain average 73% and lungs about 83%. This is close to the roughly 71% of the earth’s surface that is covered in water, mirroring our bodies connection with our planet.

The electrolytes found naturally in water help to assure the proper balance of the electrical charges in our bodies when we are sufficiently hydrated. Optimal muscle and neurological function depend on this balance, and also our physical and cognitive processes. Additionally hydrated skin is more elastic and youthful, our internal organs function properly and we avoid adverse conditions brought on by dehydration. Heat stroke can be one of the most severe results of a dehydrated system, lack of electrolytes can lead to severe cramping and affect basic muscle function of all the bodie’s voluntary and involuntary systems. A decrease of blood pressure, elevated heart rate, sluggish blood and urine flow can cause a person to experience neuromuscular issues, kidney stones, constipation, mental fatigue and confusion. And, of course, extreme prolonged dehydration will result in loss of kidney function and eventual death. Children, and most importantly, infants, are especially prone to dehydration. The leading cause of global infant mortality is due to dehydration. Make sure to encourage your children to drink plenty of water to support their healthy active lives and good brain growth and function. A fun and kind of gross fact to tell your kids is that if they were to somehow magically hold their brain in their hands, it would feel like a water balloon. That helps make the point of the importance of staying hydrated, they wouldn’t want their brain to feel like a raisin!

Some suggestions to help assure staying hydrated are to type reminders into your phone or use post-it notes. There are even Apps that will help you to drink a certain amount of water a day. Lemon or lime wedges, cucumber slices, strawberries, melon and/or mint leaves added to your water can make it more refreshing and tasty, and increase the likelihood of drinking more water.

Respect for water; its importance, inside and outside of the receptacle of our bodies, makes it crucial to protect and conserve our water sources. Our bodies of water and the water in our bodies deserve gratitude and love, and appreciation.

Post your picture with a glass of water to hashtag #HydrationDay.