Last week we talked about healthy eating (our summer snacks post), now let’s talk about hydration.
We all know we need to drink water, and probably more water than we currently consume. Your body composition is over half water: your cells need water to rehydrate, your muscles need water to heal, your joints need water to move properly, and your digestive system needs water to work smoothly. All told, you need a minimum of 64 oz a day (or the 8- 8 oz. glasses of water rule) to stay hydrated. Another way to figure out how much water you need is to divide your weight in half- that gives you a rough minimum of ounces to drink each day. Per the second example, someone weighing over 188lbs would need to drink more water than the standard “64 oz rule” to stay healthy. If you’re outside in the heat or working out- then you’ll need to increase your minimum water amount even more.
What happens when you don’t get enough water? First off, you’re going to be thirsty; your skin will be dry, your lips chapped. You may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, and confusion. Chronic dehydration- habitually not drinking enough water- causes your body to have to choose which systems will get hydrated, and that’s never a good thing!
Why does it seem so simple to down 64 ounces of soda or coffee, but so hard to drink that much water? We won’t go into the long answer for that question in this post, but the short term solution is to spice up your water. Try infusing your water with fruits and even vegetables. Throw some cucumber slices and a chunk of watermelon into your water bottle and see if you like the results. There are so many different fruits you can play with. You can also try adding mint or other fresh herbs to your water as well to layer on the flavor.
Fruit juices, sodas, coffee, and other sweet(ened) beverages really don’t count towards your water goal. And remember that caffeine actually dehydrates you, so that Venti coffee increases the amount of water you need to drink that day.
One more thought before we let you go refill your water bottle: carrying a reusable water container is a great way to encourage yourself to stay hydrated. Pick out a bottle you like, and if you decide you don’t like it a few months from now- go get another one! Water bottles come in a variety of styles and sizes: you can find one to suit just about any need or mood. Having water constantly accessible will help you drink as you’re thirsty, and hauling the bottle everywhere will remind you that you need to be drinking water.
Stay hydrated! We wish you good health,
Columbia Basin Racquet Club
Photo credit: Ryan Hyde via Flickr