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Raise your glass to the one drink you can indulge in all day long without feeling guilty – water*. As the summer season heats up, it’s more important than ever to make sure you stay hydrated. In addition to helping your body operate at its best, there are some great additional benefits to drinking H2O. So fill up a cup and make sure you’re taking advantage of water’s benefits at work and at home.

Energy: Feeling tired or sluggish is one of the first signs of dehydration, which can impair your memory, attention span and motor skills. Next time you feel fatigued and need a pick me up, reach for the water instead of coffee or a soft drink. Staying hydrated not only gives you more energy, it can also improve your mood and help keep you alert.

Weight loss: It’s not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, but studies have shown that drinking water regularly boosts your metabolism and helps your body know when it’s full. Sometimes what our brains perceives as being hungry is really just our body asking for more water.

It’s not just about what we drink: Foods like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, celery and lettuce contain high percentages of water along with minerals and nutrients that can actually hydrate your body more effectively than a regular glass of H2O. Approximately 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from food, so eat up on these healthy, hydrated foods and watch as your body reaps the benefits.

Keep it interesting: It’s true. Not everyone enjoys the taste of water. If H2O isn’t your first choice beverage, consider adding fresh fruit to your glass to add flavor without extra calories. You may also consider trying flavor drops, powders or canned carbonated water that can make you feel like you’re drinking a soda even though it’s just regular water. If you’re counting calories, make sure choose flavor enhancers that aren’t high in sugar.

*Some medical conditions may require you to limit fluid intake. Consult with your medical provider and make a plan for how to balance your medical and hydration needs if you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions.

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