Why Drink More Water?
Staying hydrated is vitally important for so many reasons. Not only does adequate hydration prevent headaches, grogginess and muscle weakness/cramping, water carries heat away from your vital organs, regulating your internal body temperature and improving circulation. But the question remains, how much water is enough? There is no doubt that you've heard the age old recommendation of drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, but there are many different things to keep in mind when trying to stay hydrated.
Body size/type. Individuals who have larger bodies or more muscle mass require more fluid to stay hydrated.
Type and duration of daily exercise. Any type of activity that makes you sweat will increase your fluid loss. When intense exercise last for more than an hour, you also begin to lose minerals, known as electrolytes, through your sweat. It is important to replenish both!
Environment, including temperature. Hot, humid temperatures will cause increased sweating and increase fluid needs.
Overall state of health. Acute illness like fever, vomiting or diarrhea will cause your body to lose more fluid. Be sure to replenish your fluids appropriately in these situations.
Pregnancy/breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require extra fluid to stay hydrated.
The most important things to remember to stay hydrated is drink enough to prevent thirst, monitor the color of your urine (your goal should be pale yellow) and all fluids count, including tea, soups/broths, milk and juice. You can also get a substantial amount of fluid from foods! The most hydrating foods you can choose this include:
Watermelon: With more than 90% water, watermelon is an obvious choice for summer snacking! Not only will it increase your overall fluid intake, it is also a great source of lycopene, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant.
Cucumbers: With over 95% water content, cucumbers contain more water than any other solid food and can be as thirst quenching as a glass of ice-cold water! They are also packed full of fiber and flavanols, which help to scavenge free radicals in the body.
Celery: Known for its high water content at nearly 96%, celery is also a great source of vitamins A, C and K and can be a natural remedy for heartburn or acid reflux.
Strawberries: With 91% water content, strawberries contribute significantly to your fluid intake. They also contain more vitamin C than any other berry and are rich in the B vitamin folate, essential for the generation of new cells.
Tomatoes: Bursting from the vine during the summer months, these gems contain 95% water and taste like candy! Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and tout benefits like aiding in digestion, lowering blood pressure and helping to manage diabetes.
Our bodies are made up of nearly 75% water so choosing foods and fluids that keep you hydrated will ensure you are feeling your best!
MORE ON WATER!
Water is THE SINGLE most important nutrient for our body.
You can live 5-7 weeks without food.
The longest an adult can live without water is 5 days.
Water circulates the land just like it does the body.
Our bodies are 75% water, our muscles are 75% water, brain cells are 85% water, and our blood is 92% water.
Our bones are made up of 25% water (men have more water/muscle).
Athletes performance decreases with as little as 2% dehydration
NOTE: If you eat a lot of starches, increase your water.
Everyday our bodies lose 6-12 cups of water just by living, and this water must be replaced.