Hydrate to keep skin healthy looking

“Stay hydrated” is a summertime mantra. Ever wonder why — and why it’s so important to skin health? So many questions. Here are some answers.

Why do we need to drink so much water, anyway?

Water makes up 60% of our body weight. Water helps lubricate joints, transport nutrients to cells, remove waste products, regulate body temperature, and, yes, maintain skin health. Water gets depleted as we perspire, so drink up.

How much fluid do I need each day?

According to the Institute of Medicine, women should consume about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water from beverages and food daily, and men should consume about 3.7 liters (125 ounces). A rule of thumb for adequate hydration is to urinate every two to four hours.

Do other foods and liquids count?

Yes. Mix things up by creating your own flavored waters, or drinking low-fat or fat-free milk or 100% fruit juice. Don’t forget to eat foods with high water content, such as cantaloupe, raw apples and iceberg lettuce.

Do caffeinated beverages count toward my daily fluid needs?

Yes, they can, in moderation. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day can be consumed without negatively affecting overall daily hydration. An eight-ounce cup of tea typically has 20 to 70 milligrams; coffee has 50 to 200. Keep in mind that patients may have a caffeine restriction, such as after heart surgery.

What are three tips for staying hydrated?

First, let your thirst be your guide. Second, drink water with, and between, meals. Last, create your own flavored water by adding slices of lemon, lime or orange; herbs; and veggies such as cucumber.