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Water, Water Everywhere
Water is incredibly important for your health, whether you’re sitting on the couch, walking, or exercising. Water is one of the major building blocks of the body, making up over 60% of your weight. Its role is to flush wastes out of vital organs, carry nutrients into and out of your cells, maintain body temperature, and protect your joints and organs. Because of this, your body gets rid of a lot of water through digestion, sweating, and even breathing.
If you’re not consuming enough water to compensate for this, dehydration can set in and your essential body functions can start to shut down. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, sluggishness, backaches, as well as muscle and joint pain. It’s important to not wait until you feel these symptoms, but rather to drink enough water throughout the day to make sure you’re body is in great hydrated shape.
How much Should I Drink?
While there is no exact amount of water that’s considered enough, because of variations in individual bodies, there are some recommendations. As a baseline, your body needs 4 to 6 pints, or 64 to 96 liquid ounces, of water each and everyday just to replace fluids lost through normal bodily functions. Other factors such as the weather, and exertion levels will raise these numbers.
Because of our body’s use of water to regulate body temperature, the weather has an effect on how much we should drink. As outside temperature rises, the body will get rid of water through sweat to cool the body. Even when it’s cold out, make sure to keep drinking water as dehydration can happen anytime of the year. Again, everyone’s body works differently so there is no exact amount to compensate for temperature. A general guideline is to drink to the point that your urine is close to clear in color.
When you perform mild, short exercise, your body needs at least an additional pint, 16 ounces, of water to replenish. For longer and more intense training sessions, you may need 2 to 4 additional pints.
If you want to quickly and accurately know how much water you need to recover from a workout, a scale can be very useful. Rehydration is one of the few purposes that using a scale may be recommended. To find out how much water you’ve lost, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercising. Each pound of bodyweight lost due to sweat and exertion equals around 16 oz of water.
Of course, sweating rids the body of more than just water. If you’re working really hard and sweating a lot, the body also loses electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. Despite amazing ad campaigns, you probably don’t need to replenish these through sports drinks. Simply eating a balanced diet and some great Post-Workout foods will help bring your body up to normal levels.
How to Drink More Water Everyday
Drink 16+ oz with every meal
Drink 16+ oz between every meal
Drink 16+ oz 1 hour before exercise
Drink 8+ oz ten minutes before exercise
Drink 16+ oz immediately after exercise
Carry a reusable water bottle, and track how many you drink every day
A bigger glass or bottle will help drink more
Keep a bottle of water by your bed to drink first thing in the morning
While this may sound like a lot of water, it’s manageable when you break it down throughout the day. Not only will drinking enough help your body process wastes, but it will help you look and feel awesome. Drink up and enjoy your newfound hydration!