How hydrated are you? It’s a key question when trying to be your healthiest and most fit! But how much water do you really need? Your body is 60% water and every system in your body depends on the stuff. Water flushes out toxins in vital organs, it carries nutrients to your cells, it even keeps your ear, nose and throat moist and functioning properly. Dehydration is, of course, when you don’t have enough water in your body and that can really reek havoc on your entire body. Even mild dehydration can cause a big dip in your energy levels. So of course when it comes to being healthy and performing at your optimal levels you must stay on top of your hydration by consuming plenty of fluids and foods that are high in water content throughout the day.
The Institute of Medicine determined that adequate water intake (AI) for men is on average 13 cups and for women the AI is 9 cups. Of course these are all just recommendations and other factors need to be considered when deciding how much water you need in a day. If you exercise for short periods of time (less than an hour) it is recommended that you add 1.5 to 2 cups of water to your day. More intense exercise (an hour or more) and depending on how much you sweat, will require more and possibly even some sports drinks to bring your sodium levels up. I recommend 8 oz. of water before, during and after your sweat sesh. Of course if you’re exercising more than an hour you should double that intake and really listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, you’re already somewhat dehydrated so don’t get to that point.
Another rule of thumb I like to follow is drink 8-10 oz. of water every hour. So while at work or home you can even set an alarm to remind yourself it’s time for more water!! Other fluids, even wine and coffee, can count as having water. But don’t get too excited! It’s best to count your water intake from the good, old natural source. Can’t stand the taste of water? I hear you at times. Sometimes I drink sparkling water to get it all in. You can also flavor your water with cucumbers, orange, lemon and lime slices and even different herbs. Whatever it takes, try to get it in!
When it comes to weight loss and maintaining your figure stay hydrated! Your digestive system will function at its best and your body will eliminate waste more efficiently. Your muscles will stay smooth and ready to fire when working out. And you’ll be able to flush out the waste products more efficiently after your workout and recover faster.
So make it your goal today to be aware of just how much water you’re consuming and then try and beat that! I’m going to make it my goal as well. I’m a big time sweater and I know I can benefit from drinking more H2O. Let’s just see how good we can all feel and how much better we can perform. Until next time my friends!!