You heard us right. Just because everyone knows the old-adage “drink 8 glasses of water each day to stay hydrated” doesn’t mean that you have to. Just as everybody has a different fingerprint that makes them unique, everyone has different requirements for water consumption. The quantity of water you should drink is based on a variety of factors, where you live, your activity level, your medical conditions and your diet.
Water makes up for about 60% of your body, meaning a lot. It’s important to replenish your body constantly since you’re actively losing water through activities you may not even think about – breathing, perspiring, urinating, etc. Keep in mind that it’s important to replenish the fluid that is lost on a daily basis. The key word here is “fluid”, not “water”. Fluids include food, beverages and any other methods of consuming liquid in a different form. This means that you could eat a pint of ice cream, demolish an entire watermelon and inhale a bowl of steaming soup to meet your fluid quota for the day without actually having to drink water.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume about 9 cups of fluids a day (roughly 2.2 litres) to get sufficient replenishment. When all is said and done, as long as you’re getting 2.2 liters of liquid something, you’ve got your bases covered. So if water isn’t quite your thing, try eating more fruits and vegetables or other liquid beverages to ensure that you’re constantly hydrated.
Factors that affect water loss
If you live in a dry or humid climate, your skin is bound to sweat, and a lot. Perspiring is the number one factor contributing to dehydration (ie. the desert) and can easily be fixed by drinking water.
Athletes are also prone to serious water loss simply because of also, sweating. If you’re a heavy sweater, make sure to guzzle up that water to replenish all that’s been lost.
Some medical conditions can also cause dehydration. When your body is in over drive fighting off a disease or condition, it uses up a lot of energy in order to heal you. Conditions where hydration is affected are fevers, diarrhea and vomiting. It’s important to replenish your liquids whenever you’re sick and especially the electrolytes. This is why you always hear people telling you to “rest up and drink lots of water” whenever you mention that you aren’t feeling well.
How to stay hydrated besides just drinking water
If you’re trying to incorporate actual water consumption into your diet as opposed to dry foods, fruits and vegetables are a great starting point as 90% of their weight is water. Once you’ve gotten used to eating more of this food group, you’re not only on your way to staying hydrated but staying healthy! The next step would be to start bringing around a water bottle with you wherever you go. Yes, it will be heavy and may be a burden, but once you start drinking from the bottle and emptying it, it should lighten up your load.
Many work place environments also have kitchenettes or water fountains where you can constantly refill your bottle throughout the day and even encourage constant hydration. If you’re not super fond of the taste of water, try infusing it with fruits or herbs to give it a light taste.
The next time you’re drinking water, instead of taking one sip, try taking big gulps so that you consume more water in a shorter period of time. So instead of staring at your full bottle for 8 hours at work, finish it as quickly as possible to get the task out of the way. It’s important to keep in mind that although you can stay hydrated by drinking other things besides water, water is always the best and healthiest option.
How to tell if you’re hydrated
To check out your hydration level, the next time you go on a washroom break, check out your urine. That’s right, take a deep long look at your pee. Is it relatively light colored, or even better, clear? If yes, then you’re well on your way to remaining hydrated. If not, it might indicate that you need to drink more water. Typically, the darker the urine, the less hydrated you are. So yes, drinking lots of water may make you pee often, but at least that’s a sign that you’re well hydrated.
[quote_center]Do you drink enough water to stay hydrated?[/quote_center]
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