Hydration 101

(Repost from Real Spotlight)

I live in a very dry climate and I crush my water intake in the summer, rarely needing to remind myself to drink more. However, sometimes in the winter I forget how dry it is here and end up going a few days until I realize I’ve been slacking.

A few Facts on Water: 1. Water has many essential functions in the body such as regulating body temperature, keeps muscles and joints limber and keeps blood flowing to the kidneys to flush out waste. 2. Water makes up 40-60% of your body weight. 3. You can’t live more than a few days with water.

A good rule of thumb is to take your body weigh in pounds and divide it by 2 to find out how much liquid (in ounces) you need in a day. This does include all liquids such as coffee, tea, juice, soda and water. Of course, filling up the majority of these ounces should be with water.

Another good tip is to drink to quench your thirst. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you exercise (especially in heat) or are at a higher altitude you need even more water. Exercising while dehydrated can also impair your performance.

If you exercise greater than 1 hour and are sweating, you’ll need to replace electrolytes as well. This can be accomplished with eating a snack such as yogurt and fruit with a handful of nuts while drinking water (or turn this into a smoothie) or drinking a sports drink.

Finally, monitoring your urine is another good way to know if you are drinking enough water. Your urine should be a light, yellow color. If it is darker than that, is a sign you are dehydrated. If it is more white, you may be drinking too much.

Other signs of dehydration include:

Dry mouth

Eyes stop making tears

Sweating may stop

Muscle cramps

Nausea and vomiting

Heart palpitations

Lightheadedness (especially when standing)

Weakness

 

PRO tip: Take 2-3 days and keep track of how much water you drink and monitor your urine color. Anyone conscious of their health, does this, I swear 😉 If they don’t, they should 🙂

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