FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 11, 2012) -- I am a big fan of the Riverwalk that starts here on post. Last year around this time, I decided to walk about three miles of it with a good friend of mine. We talked and discussed life for over an hour.

When we started to walk back to our homes, conversation got quiet, but not because we had nothing to talk about. We left home without water and we officially could not speak without our upper lips sticking to our gums.

Being a problem solver I had a solution. I said, "The first sprinkler we see, we will run through it with our mouths open." In all honesty I think my walking partner thought I was joking. We left the RiverWalk and were on our way home with about another mile to go when I saw the first sprinkler.

I told my partner, "Lets do it." Without hesitation she joined me as we ran through the sprinkler with our mouths open, arms flailing while we jumped through the water. The experience lasted less than five seconds, but it was a good lesson for us about the importance of hydration.

During the hot summer months, water is so very vital to your health. Without it you may experience headaches, muscle cramping, lethargic moods, difficulty in self-cooling, irritable behavior, your kidneys will not be able to take care of the toxins in your system and you will begin to feel sick and become constipated.

Everyone has probably heard varying details of how much water to drink, but from my research there is no magic number for everyone to follow so talk to your doctor and do some research.

What about liquor on a hot day?

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism confirms that alcohol is a diuretic.

That means it will make you use the restroom more and possibly aid the dehydration process. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, you can still consume alcohol -- but in moderation.

Alcohol can wreak havoc on your electrolytes and make it harder for your body to absorb the electrolytes that aide hydration.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends if you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation -- no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.

Examples of one drink include: Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters), Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters), Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters).

I know an iced down glass of water does not lower your inhibitions or make you feel loopy, but drink it anyways.

Drink water because it does not have calories or artificial sweeteners in it. Drink water because it is free. Drink water because it's good for you. Just drink water.

Just keep in mind that having fluids in your body is the easiest way to: have glowing skin, flush toxins out of your body, feel energized, help your joints and muscles, increase blood flow and aid in stabilizing your metabolism.

You will often go places where you will need hydration. I take it with me to the store to avoid buying a soda on the way out. I take it with me to the gym. I take it on any outing when I know I will be gone from home for any period of time indoors or out.

A word for the wise: Take your water with you so you can avoid awkward moments of frolicking in strangers yards in hope of getting a few drops of water from their sprinkler. Trust me on that one.

Page last updated Thu July 12th, 2012 at 00:00