Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Giuseppe Vitulli, Sports Editor

If you did a poll of people in America asking them if they prefer, a soda, a Gatorade, or a bottle of water, a large majority of the answers would be in favor of the sweeter tasting beverages. While water is typically not the first choice for those attempting to quench their thirst, it should be.

“First and foremost, you should always begin your workout or practice by being well hydrated; not just drinking before practice but also during and be able to rehydrate after practice,” said Emily Cherpin, AHS Athletic Trainer.

Water additionally has many health benefits that other sports and energy drinks simply can’t match.

“Sports drinks can throw your heart into an irregular rhythm which could essentially cause you to have a heart attack,” said Cherpin

“Water in particular helps you maintain your body temperature so that you don’t contract any illness, muscle cramps, get heat exhaustion, with heat stroke and death also being possibilities,” Cherpin continued.

According to Cherpin, the average person should drink half of his/her body weight in ounces of fluid per day while athletes should drink 16 ounces of fluid two to three hours before exercise. Eight ounces of fluid should also be consumed 15 minutes prior to exercise. While exercising, an athlete should drink four ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes and 16 to 20 ounces of fluid should be consumed for every pound of weight lost after exercise. ​

Some key tell signs that you are not drinking enough water are dizziness, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, lack of energy, dry skin, and dark yellow urine.

There are many side effects that can come as a result of not getting the proper hydration and they can be detrimental. Cherpin gave her take on this subject as well.

“Dehydration in particular can result in muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, nausea, you would decrease your blood pressure, your core temperature could increase as well as your heart rate which could potentially lead to a heart attack.”

It is simple and obvious. While water is not the sexy pick, it is the best choice regardless of how you look at it. While Gatorade may taste better and Monster will have you bouncing off the walls, water is always the best choice.

“Water helps lubricate your joints and muscles and also helps regulate body temperature,” said Cherpin. It makes sure that your blood pressure is not too high or too low, therefore preventing you from getting health problems.”