As we wake up on the first day of 2017, maybe feeling a little hazy from celebrating last night, let’s make this year one of the healthiest that we’ve ever had. The first step in a healthy lifestyle is a simple one. Drink water. (It’s that simple, seriously.) Water is what makes our planet unique; it is the one element that is required for life. Without water humans, can only survive days. Stay hydrated… Live up to your potential.

Find the fountain and drink some water! Photo Cred:

Water is essential for homeostasis, or balance, within your body and makes up anywhere from 55% to 75% of our body mass depending on age. Water is linked to all body functions from physical activity to cognitive activity to circulation. The regulation of water in our bodies is a finite process, it only takes changes in microliters of available water to trigger pathways to make us find the life-giving liquid.

To reach our goals in 2017, drinking water will be the foundation. As we work out our way to health, we can lose 6-10% of body weight in sweat loss, and if that water isn’t replenished we’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Even slight dehydration will result in a drop in performance, body temperature regulation, motivation, and effort output. Our minds won’t be firing on all cylinders either, we will see a loss of concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. Dehydration also leads to a lower blood volume, which makes your heart work harder and deprives your muscles and organs of needed blood to fuel and replenish.

So, the question of the day, how much water do we need to drink daily? To get down to straight numbers, men over the age of 19 need about 1 gallon (128 ounces) and women, the same age, need about 90 ounces daily. That’s a lot of drinking. The thing to keep in mind is that our bodies are very efficient at finding water from what we put in our mouths, and if you have a diet that consists of a balance of fruit and vegetables, 70% or more of your food can consist of water. Below is a quick table from the National Institute of Health so show how what we eat impacts our hydration.

Fruits and veggies go a long way in helping you stay hydrated.

The foundation of our healthy life in 2017 must be to stay hydrated. Keep in simple. Carry a water bottle with you and drink when you’re thirsty. Eat a sustainable diet that is primarily fruits and veggies and you will be fueled and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.