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The importance of hydration!



 

Now that the weather is getting warm I’d like to share a few points on the importance of staying hydrated.

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First off, some of you may not know exactly what water does for our everyday function.  Each one of us is primarily water 80% in fact   , which pretty much means we need water to survive. It is the most abundant nutrient in our body.   It helps regulate our bodies temperature, especially when we spend time out in this hot weather.  Lubricates our joints so we can live and move in the way that makes us happiest, removes toxins and waste aiding in feeling good and providing good health and helps in improving our digestive process.   If your working on your fitness levels you may want to know that water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells and muscles. This is important if you want to build muscle and perform at your best in the gym.   In order for you to move/flex your muscles and avoid cramping you need water. waterglass

It is very easy for us to lose water actually.  For example, when we go to the bathroom, sweat from being in hot weather or physical activity, the flu and believe it or not even when we breathe.

There are a few key symptoms of being dehydrated. 

-Very few bathroom breaks or if you notice darker than normal urine/ Dry Mouth/ Being sleepy or noticeably fatigued/ Extreme thirst/ Headaches/ Confusion or foggy headed/ Dizziness/ Tearless crying.

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Each and every one of us are at risk of dehydration.  It is especially important for those of us individuals who may have kidney stones or bladder infection, be exposed to the hot weather, perform high intensity workouts, have a terrible flu or are even trying to lose weight.

Now the question….  How much water should i drink in a day?8-glasses-of-water_blue

You may have heard the usual recommendation of 6 to 8 8ounces which is a pretty decent goal.  Every individual is different.  It would depend slightly on what you did in your day.  Some people can stay hydrated on fewer that 8 ounces and others require more.  

Obviously Water is the best way to hydrate your body, but i often get asked about sports drinks or energy drinks.  Well….this is when you should be careful.  If you are planning on doing high intensity training for long periods of time a sports drink may be helpful in aiding in recovery. However you have to be cautious about how much sugar it may contain.  They are often loaded with added sugars.  Not to mention ingredients you can’t even pronounce.  That’s usually a red flag to stay away. 

Now energy drinks are not to be confused with sports drinks.  Energy drinks contain a large amount caffeine and other stimulants that your body does not need.  Not to mention loads of added sugar.  Again, another red flag.  Stick with what you know.  blue_wave_of_water

Here is a list of helpful tips to stay hydrated.

-Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Leave one at your desk, in your car or wherever you may be.  It’s easy to fill anywhere.

-Plan to drink a glass before, during and after a workout or a meal.

-If you tend to forget to drink it, set a timer or a make a schedule. Put it in your phone or daytimer. 

-Some people hate the taste of water.  Try adding Lemon wedge or Lime.

-If your going out for a meal somewhere make the first thing you do, down a glass of water.  This will not only hydrate but it will more than likely fill you up a little so you may leave the restaurant with leftovers.  It will help determine if you are actually that hungry.  True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.

This may all seem basic but it’s quite surprising how many of us are actually experiencing dehydration symptoms. 

I challenge you to focus on one of these easy tips for a week and see how you feel.  Especially if you find yourself feeling one or more of these symptoms.  

What are some of your strategies for staying hydrated during the summer?

References:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html