by Jillian Torre

Let’s face it, when it’s 90 degrees outside in the midst of summer, you have a tendency to drink a lot more water than you do now during the cooler seasons. However, the truth is that staying hydrated is just as important now as it is during the hot and humid summer months.

Dehydration can lead to dry and itchy skin, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, and can also weaken the immune system; all things that aren’t uncommon during the fall. Staying hydrated can make your body’s transition to winter that much more pleasant.

Drinking water can also help with weight loss or maintenance. Thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger and is the cause of a lot of snacking. Why eat calories you don’t need? Drinking a glass of water is a much better way to solve the afternoon munchies. Beginning any meal with water can also help to fill you up.

Our bodies lose around a quart and a half of water a day just from daily functions like breathing, sweating, and going to the bathroom. Athletes generally loose more as the result of constant exercise. It is important to replace the water you loose at the risk of becoming dehydrated.

It is generally recommended to drink six to eight 8oz. glasses of water each day. This can vary per person. Some may need to drink more than the recommended amount if they have certain medical conditions, exercise frequently, have a fever, or are trying to lose weight.

While water is the best option for hydration, there are a few alternatives for those who do not like water. Try flavoring water with a lemon or lime wedge or packaged flavorings like Crystal Light. Tea, milk, fruit, and vegetable juices can be an alternative for your water intake.

Always carrying a water bottle around with you is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated. Try purchasing a reusable water bottle and filling it up throughout the day at Mount Saint Mary College’s new Brita Hydration Stations. Ordering water instead of a soda or alcoholic beverage when eating out is a lot better for your body and is free! Drinking water when you wake up and right before you go to sleep is another great habit to get into.

There are many different tips and tricks to staying hydrated. It doesn’t matter which one you chose, what matters is you’re getting your six to eight glasses aday. Your body will thank you for it.