Medically Approved

The importance of staying hydrated

Drinking water

Optum Perks Author

By Optum Perks Author


It’s important to stay hydrated on St. Patrick’s Day and every day

For many, St. Patrick’s Day is an invitation to celebrate the “wearing of the green” at parties and parades. But to avoid feeling green around the gills on March 18, drinking plenty of water before, during and after the party will help.


Athletes know the importance of staying hydrated at practice and during play to avoid dehydration due to perspiration. And if you’re an active runner, cyclist, tennis player or golfer, chances are you know to plan ahead and keep water close at hand while on the road, court or course.

Stay hydrated for your best health

The science behind hydration is simple. We’re made of water. Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Some organs, like the lungs, are made almost entirely from water. Even hard tissue like bone is more than 30% water! When our fluid levels are low, our systems and individual organs can’t function as they should. And by the time we feel thirsty, we already haven't had all the water we need.


Staying well-hydrated helps the body digest food more easily, keeps nutrients moving more easily through blood and tissue, removes waste more efficiently, and prevents issues like constipation and muscle cramps. We need a generous supply of fresh water every day to help the body be at its best.

How much water should I drink?

Experts suggest that adults drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Of course, if you’re active or play sports - especially during warm weather, more water is better. Liquids like coffee and soda can figure into your total fluid intake. Recent studies suggest that milk may be even more hydrating than plain water. Still, for most people our recommended 64 oz. of fluid intake should be plain water.

Other ways to get enough water each day

Need another reason to up your intake of fruits and veggies? Many of the foods we eat each day also contributes to fluid intake – especially certain vegetables and some fruits. Add these foods to your diet to benefit from their high-water content.


90% water or more:

  • Cucumbers & Tomatoes
  • Romaine & Iceberg lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Skim & Soy milk

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80% water or more:

  • Honeydew melon
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Peaches
  • Carrots
  • Apples & Oranges
  • Pineapple

You can also crush fresh fruits and vegetables and add them to plain water for more flavor without added sugar. Strawberries, pineapple and watermelon are great additions. So is cucumber, mint leaves, and lemon or lime juice also make tasty additions to plain water. Combine a few to create something new!


However you choose to get your 64 ounces, doing so will help your body work at its best every day.