Have you heard you should be drinking eight glasses of water a day? What about, “if you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated”? Let’s review some facts about hydration, which is essential to our quality of life.
- How much water should I drink?A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should shoot for 75 ounces of water daily.
-Psst – did you know that all liquids (except for alcoholic beverages) count as fluid? So your morning coffee actually does help keep you hydrated!
- Am I thirsty or hungry? Sometimes you may confuse hunger for thirst. If you think you are hungry, before reaching for snacks, try drinking a full glass of water to see if it satisfies you. This is an easy way to drop unwanted pounds or prevent gaining them.
- Should I drink energy drinks? Unless you are doing more than 90 minutes of cardio exercise, you probably don’t need a sports drink to replenish electrolytes. Try water instead. Remember, sports drinks have added sugar and those calories can add up.
- Does hydrating help my workouts? Yes! Sweating is our body’s way of maintaining a safe temperature, so without enough fluid, we would easily overheat during exercise. Fluids also help the muscles work more effectively while helping the heart pump more efficiently, which keeps our metabolism functioning optimally.
Think water is boring? Try jazzing it up! Watermelon, berries, citrus, kiwi, and apples add natural sweetness with very few calories. Try cucumber, mint, and basil to add an extra refreshing kick. You can even use frozen berries, mango, pineapple, and cherries to keep your drink fun and cold!
As you can see, adequate hydration is important for a lot of reasons. So before your next workout, fill up those water bottles, get out there, and break a sweat!
Anastasia Conover graduated from West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She continued her education receiving a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Now she teaches nutrition classes, does nutrition counseling, and develops healthy recipes and diets to help people reach their health and wellness goals. She also devotes her time to community outreach focusing on kidney disease education.