Keep Hydrated – Stay Healthy

Typically I do not keep hydrated. Between my coffee and staying indulged in my work I probably drink 30 oz of water a day. But more recently I have been drinking 130-150 oz a day to keep my water intake high and my body hydrated. After just 3 days I was feeling GREAT. My body felt good and I felt very energized compared to normal.

Living in the south it gets HOT especially here in Central FL. With rising temperatures whether you’re sitting in the sun, playing sports, or just traveling it is VERY important to drink enough water. Not only is it critical to your heart health but your overall health. When your body is hydrated your heart is more able to pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles easier. This also helps your muscles work more efficiently. Also your brain function is improved!

How Much Water Do I Need

According to the American Heart Association, the amount of water needed depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn, and your exercise intensity/duration. Also, someone who sweats heavily will need to intake more water compared to someone who doesn’t sweat heavily. If you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, you will need to intake more water as well. Those who have Cystic Fibrosis tend to have high amounts of sodium in their sweat. Because of this, those affected by CF will need to take in more water as well. The best way to tell if you’re dehydrated is if you get thirsty. The saying goes, “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated”.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined a very good daily fluid intake for men is about 15.5 cups and women 11.5 cups. However, these recommendations cover fluid intake from food as well. Typically 20% of your daily fluid intake comes from food and other drinks besides water throughout the day. But you may have heard of the 8X8 rule. This is 8 glasses of water at 8 ounces a day. Though this works from some people it does not work for everyone, some people need more. Another rule taught is you should drink half of your body weight in water. But same thing, for some people this works and for some it does not because there are factors in everyones life that play a different role in how much water they should drink.

Factors that Influence Your Water Needs

Modifying your water intake is based of a variety of needs as mentioned above. But other factors weigh in as well. Pregnancy/breast feeding and exercise are a few of them. Those who are pregnant or breast feed need to consume anywhere between 10-13 cups daily. Not only does this help with their health, but also the babies health. For those who exercise, the best way to tell how much water you need is by weighing yourself before and after exercise. For every pound lost during physical activity, you will need to drink a pint of water. If you’re doing vigorous physical activity and not sweating, this can indicate that you are already dehydrated. At this point heat exhaustion will start to develop.

Ideas to Help Stay Hydrated

Get 3-4 reusable water bottles that hold about 24 ounces and fill them each night. Then when you wake up the next day you can take 2 with you to work or just out and then the other 1-2 will be for when you get home. This helps you track how much water you drink without really thinking about it.

Add water enhancers. You can buy sugar free and calorie free water enhancers to help spruce up your water! This way you’re adding a little pa-zaz to your day. (If there was a caramel macchiato one I would never stop drinking water. LOL.) You can also use this to make popsicles! All you’ll need is a popsicle mold. Besides flavor enhancers in your water, you can also try coconut milk/water!

Lastly, eating foods that have a high water content. These include broccoli, watermelon, celery, carrots, and berries. You can eat them separately or maybe make a delicious cold smoothie!

Drinking water is very important for body function. Next time you’re sitting around, grab a cup (and maybe a straw) and just sip away on water!