One of the first things we do with any client is a “fitness profile;” included in that profile is a number indicative of their hydration level. In the last ten years, I’ve taken these numbers for hundreds of clients. My estimation is that only 5-10% of these have what is considered a healthy hydration level…NOT ENOUGH WATER!
So why do we care, and why should you? EVERY cell in your body REQUIRES adequate hydration to function correctly. Without that hydration, you CANNOT maintain a healthy body temperature, remove waste, or even lubricate your joints. Let’s go back to the car comparison---without enough water, your car would first overheat, evaporating even more water, and eventually just be too hot to work! Just like your car, severe dehydration can cause poor functioning (dry mouth, sleepiness or fatigue, extreme thirst, headache, confusion, feeling dizzy or lightheaded); so, how do you keep all of this from happening? The best way is to drink ENOUGH water on a regular basis.
BUT…How much is really enough? Most experts recommend 6-8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. For some, this could be TOO much (there really is a syndrome called water intoxication); for others, not nearly enough. Check your urine! If you are well hydrated, it should be almost clear or light yellow (unless you have just taken a supplement that may have added color). FamilyDoctor.org says you need more than normal amounts of water if you:
- Have certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones or bladder infections
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are going to be outside during hot weather
- Are going to be exercising
- Have a fever, or have been vomiting or have diarrhea
- Are TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT
AGAIN, from FamilyDoctor.org, SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO STAY HYDRATED:
- Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Carry a reusable water bottle (one with a filter if needed for quality), and fill it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water.
- If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
- If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
- Start and end your day with a glass of water.
- When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
- Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
- Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!
LMC (THAT’S ME) quote: “If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, you’ve waited TOO long!”
Linda Cook BS, CPT 937-369-7363 cell 937-748-9905 office firstname.lastname@example.org