Water intake and keeping your body hydrated is the greatest thing you can do for total body health. Water is one of the most important elements for all living things, and up to 60 percent of the human adult body is made of water! It’s essential for bodily functions, supplying nutrients throughout the body and removing waste, and maintaining blood circulation and body temperature. Without water, or without enough of it, we can become dehydrated. Getting enough water every day is important to keeping your body functioning correctly!
Dehydration might show itself in the form of muscle cramps, fatigue, thirst, and other unpleasant symptoms. Our thinking and cognition can suffer. We might lose appetite, experience mild constipation and lightheadedness, or even come down with kidney stones.
Keep reading today’s blog entry for the 101 on staying hydrated, active, and healthy!
How Much Water Do You Need?
When it comes to water intake and hydration, there is never a one-size-fits-all formula for a daily intake. The amount of water you should drink daily depends on your body, your health conditions, your medications, and other factors.
Because there is no standard for how much plain water adults and children should drink daily, there are general recommendations for our bodies in general. The rule of thumb should be female-identifying bodies should drink approximately 2.7 liters of water each day while male-identifying bodies should average 3.7 liters of total water.
Another way to be more tailored in your water intake would be to divide your body weight (in pounds) by two and drink that number of ounces each day.
Regardless, drinking water and optimizing your hydration should be a part of your daily routine, not something you have to go out of your way to do!
How to Stay Hydrated
The key to staying safe and healthy this summer is staying hydrated. And the key to staying hydrated? Follow these 10 easy tips:
Drink water—and plenty of it!
Like we have already discussed, daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age and sex, as well as women who are actively pregnant or breastfeeding. Start by drinking a cup of water each morning when you wake up or a glass before bed. Have another glass with every meal. Drink one or two cups after working out. And to ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.
Know the signs of dehydration
Does your skin feel dry, irritated, inflamed, itchy, or sensitive? That’s a sign of dehydration. Experiencing a headache or feeling dizzy or fatigued? These are signs, too. Muscle cramps, rapid breathing, fainting, and not urinating enough (or having very dark yellow urine) are others. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the simple solution is to get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. There are small over-the-counter options like Liquid I.V. that balance out electrolytes and sodium with added vitamins and minerals.
Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and/or caffeine
Did you know? — some liquids work against hydration! Drinks like coffee, sugary sodas, beer, wine and hard liquor, lemonades, sweet tea, energy drinks, smoothies, and flavored milk are all culprits. It’s because they are loaded with sugar, sodium, and other ingredients that actually remove water from your tissues. Consider swapping some of these out daily or rehydrating with more water for each dehydrating drink you consume.
Eat foods with high water content
Did you know that approximately 80 percent of our water intake comes from drinking water? The other 20 percent comes from food. All whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but snack on these for maximum benefit: cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli, and grapefruit. They all contain 90 percent water or higher.
Replenish when you sweat
Play a sport? Heading out on a hike? It’s essential to drink water throughout these activities. Your sweat rate, the humidity, and how long you’ve exercised are all factors to consider. Proper hydration means getting enough water before, during, and after exercise. A general recommendation for hydrating with physical activity include:
• Drink 17-20 oz. two to three hours before you exercise.
• Drink 8 oz. 20-30 minutes before you exercise.
• Drink 7-10 oz. every 10-20 minutes during exercise.
• Drink 8 oz. no more than 30 minutes after exercise.
Infuse with flavor
Not a frequent water drinker? Try sprucing up your water by adding a few simple ingredients. Limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries, cucumbers, and other fruits improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. This can help you drink more water than you usually do, too. You can also give coconut water a try. This mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, so it replenishes lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates quickly.
Consider a probiotic
Our bodies are home to good and bad bacteria. They’re in our mouth, gut, and skin. Probiotics are living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods and supplements that can help improve your body’s bacteria. Taking a probiotic can help improve your immune system, protect against infection, and improve your digestion and absorption of food and nutrients—including water. Probiotics also help with several conditions associated with dehydration, including diarrhea.
Comment below and let us know how you’re planning to stay active and hydrated this summer!