With the summer months just around the corner, being properly hydrated is something most will have to become more aware of. Our bodies are comprised of about 60% water to properly support our bodily functions. If you dip and lose about 1.5% of that precious water, you can start to display symptoms of dehydration. Several factors come into play like heat, consuming dehydrating liquids, and exercise. Should you feel you are not properly hydrated by showing one or more signs listed below, you will want to consume more water, but do so slowly or you don’t induce vomiting.
Warning signs that you aren’t getting enough H2O:
- Declined cognitive function
- Change in mood
- Dry mouth
Don’t show any signs that you are dehydrated? Great! How can you ensure that you take the preventative measures to stay properly balanced? At a base level, you should aim to consume half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds then you want to aim for 65oz per day. Also, drinking beverages like coffee and alcohol can have dehydrating effects on the body. When you consume either of these have an additional 8oz of water per serving to keep you in a healthy state.
Another factor that can create more of a need for water consumption is exercise. To make sure you replace water lost when you sweat, you can weigh yourself before and after your workout. You want to drink 16oz of water for every pound lost. Another option is to drink 8oz of water 1 1/2 hours prior to exercise, 6oz for every 15 minutes during exercise, and another 8oz within 1 ½ hours of completing exercise. Physical activity with great intensity and duration (over 1 hour) may have your reaching for an electrolyte replacement such as coconut water or electrolyte tablets. Beware of those sugary sports drinks as they tend not to be the healthiest option for you.
Top reasons for staying hydrated:
- Combat fatigue – It is difficult enough to get a good night’s sleep with the hectic lives we lead these days. Allow your body to function properly and rest when it needs to by getting in enough water daily.
- Glowing skin – When we fail to drink enough our skin can become dry, cracked, wrinkly and dull. Ewww! Keep yourself looking younger way beyond your years.
- Speed up muscle repair – When we exercise we create microtears in our muscles damaging the tissue. Your muscles need water as part of the repair process so you can continue making those gains.
- Reduce high blood pressure – Since our blood is made of about 92% water it will move more freely if you drink enough throughout the day.
- Control weight gain – When your body lacks sufficient hydration your body sends a signal to your brain to release ghrelin which in turn increases your appetite. If you feel hungry, but ate recently, a glass of water just might do the trick.
How do you ensure that you drink enough water every day?