National Hydration Day

"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." --- Benjamin Franklin

As it has been every year since 2016, June 23 is National Hydration Day. It's a day to remind us about the importance of staying hydrated, especially during summer months when temperatures climb high.

Staying hydrated means you are getting enough fluids, usually water, to keep your body working as it should. You may be surprised at all the different roles water plays in your health. Water:

  • Helps you keep a normal temperature.
  • Lubricates and cushions your joints.
  • Protects your spinal cord.
  • Helps you get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

To understand how important it is to stay hydrated, you need to know what happens if you become dehydrated.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in. Sometimes it's because you're sick and don't feel like drinking enough. Sometimes it may be because you are traveling or camping and don't have access to safe drinking water. Sometimes you don't take the time to drink enough fluids throughout the day. High fever, excessive sweating, and other issues can also lead to dehydration.

There are several signs to watch for that show a person is dehydrated:


  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • No tears when crying
  • No wet diapers for three hours
  • Sunken eyes, cheeks
  • Sunken soft spot on top of skull
  • Listlessness or irritability


  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Usually, treating dehydration is as simple as drinking more fluids. However, in some cases it can become severe enough to need immediate medical attention. Lack of fluids can make your blood become more concentrated, which makes your heart have to work harder to pump it throughout your body. Also, the loss of fluid around your brain tissue can affect your ability to function.

How Much Water Should I Drink Each Day?

For a long time, the classic advice has been to drink at least eight glasses of water each day. While that's a good goal to aim for, and is enough --- or more than enough --- to keep the average person hydrated, it may not be the right answer for everyone. That's because a lot of things can influence how much water you need. Are you sweating due to work or exercise? Is it hot or humid where you live? Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? These and other factors determine what's the right amount for you.

The best thing to do is be mindful of your day-to-day routine and environment and adjust how much you drink . Also, keep an eye out for the signs of dehydration listed above.

Besides Water, What Else Can Keep Me Hydrated?

Did you know that about 20 percent of your daily fluid intake comes from food? Fruits and vegetables are a great source of water. For example, both watermelon and spinach are almost 100% water by weight. Another reason to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day!

There are also drink options other than water that can help you stay hydrated and healthy, including:

  • Low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • Plain coffees or teas

Remember to take the calorie counts and caffeine content into consideration when choosing from these options. Be especially careful with how much regular soda, sports drinks, alcoholic drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas you consume daily. They may serve to keep you hydrated, but they can have negative impacts on other areas of your health.