During the summer – and year-round – our bodies crave water. There’s no way to live without it. In fact, about 60 percent of your body is made of water. It plays a role in keeping your body working well. We lose water even when we’re at rest, and when we breathe and sweat. It’s important to hydrate throughout the day and not just during physical activity.
There are so many great benefits to staying hydrated. Drinking water:
- Helps the heart more easily pump.
- Helps your muscles work efficiently.
- Keeps your body cool.
- Lubricates and cushion joints.
- Helps improve sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
How much water do you need?
Always talk to your physician about how much water you should drink if you are taking medications or are diagnosed with a new medical condition. Some illnesses may require more or less water consumption.
Your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. You can get water from both food and other liquids. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends about 91 ounces/day for women (about 11 cups) and 125 ounces (about 17 cups)/day for men. The easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.
Water is best
Water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. It’s calorie-free, inexpensive, and usually readily available. Sources of water also include foods, such as fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water. It’s also best to limit consumption of drinks containing caffeine, to a moderate amount, i.e. 1 – 2 cups of coffee/day. Caffeine is a mild diuretic and large amounts could affect your hydration status.
7 tips for staying hydrated
- For a twist on water, try sparkling water (without added sugar).
- Try water at different temperatures – a cup of hot water with lemon in the morning is a good way to start the day.
- Use a straw – this can increase consumption. Choose a water bottle with a built-in straw or try a reusable straw such as stainless steel.
- Eat your water – eat foods with high water concentrate such as watermelon or cucumbers.
- Invest in a cool new water bottle. Just like having a new workout outfit, a new water bottle could motivate you to drink more water. Make sure you look for one with a secure lid to protect your electronics.
- Regularly sip water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already behind in fluid replacement.
- Track how much you drink – maybe use an app or put a few rubber bands around your water bottle. Every time you finish a bottle you get to remove a band.
So, drink up if you haven’t already! See how much better you feel after giving your body the hydration it needs. Here’s to you and your good health! Cheers!