Hydration: every sip counts

Margaret Baumgartner, Sports Editor

Water: it makes up most of our bodies, but do we drink enough of it? I carry a water bottle around on a daily basis, but I still find myself struggling to get an appropriate amount of water each day. But why should I care if I drink enough water? Is it really that important? The answer to that would be yes: hydration is crucial.
“The main thing about hydration is that it plays a role in all of your body processes: your blood, your nervous system, your muscular system, everything. If you don’t have enough in your body, all these things aren’t going to work to their full potential,” Health Teacher Morten Orren said.
Without water our organs, tissues, and cells wouldn’t be able to work properly. According to heart.org, drinking water makes it easier for our bodies to circulate blood and help our muscles work to their full extent. If we don’t drink water, it becomes harder for our body to function, which can lead to heart problems. Water also helps our cells reproduce, delivers oxygen throughout our bodies, regulates our body temperature, and acts as a shock absorber for both our spine and brain.
“You can eat water loaded foods to help you get your daily intake of water. Lots of melons have high water content and vegetables do too, but generally fruits have more,” Health Teacher Donna Abbey said.
Eating fruits and vegetables is an easy and tasty way to help boost your daily water intake. Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, oranges, and many others have high water content, helping nourish and hydrate your body.
Water bottles are another clear way to remind someone to drink water. Most Liberty students carry around water bottles but do they actually use them?
“I see lots if students carry around water bottles but only see a few actually drinking out of them,” Abbey said.
Another common misconception related to hydration is thinking that you can get your daily water intake from caffeinated beverages.
“Highly caffeinated drinks and sugary drinks aren’t very good for you and don’t help your hydration,” Orren said. “From my experience I have realized a lot of our athletes tend to be better at hydration”
For those who drink caffeinated beverages, it may be a necessary burst of energy that keeps you running through the day, but caffeinated drinks, like coffee, dehydrate your body and aren’t very good for you.
“Hydration isn’t just something you can do the night before a game, it’s something that has to be constant,” Coach Steve Valach said.
Athletes need to make sure to drink more water because of perspiration. The more they sweat the more water they lose so the more they should drink.
“I make sure my athletes drink lots of water. They know that if they don’t they will get cramps and not be able to play in the game,” Valach said. “You can’t play a good game unless you are hydrated.”
So how much water should we be drinking?
“Take half your body weight in ounces of water a day, drink more if you are running or doing any sport,” Orren said.