Water is essential for survival, the earth is covered in it and our bodies are made up of 50-75% of this vital liquid. Though the actual percentage may vary by age and gender, the body uses water to function and each day we also lose water, mainly through our sweat and bodily functions. Your intake level can affect everything from your energy levels to how well you’re able to digest the foods you eat.
Opinions vary when it comes to the frequently asked question “How much water should you drink each day?” The most common recommendation from health and wellness experts used to be that each person should consume eight 8-ounce glasses or 2 liters of H20. Experts say this is no longer the standard and that the amount you consume depends on weight, activity level and the environment you live in.
WebMD says most people should drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh and they give the following example. “For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.” Similar to the amount of calories each person needs to maintain their weight, the amount of water you need for optimal hydration depends on the individual.
To give you a better idea of how much water you need we reviewed some frequently asked questions about hydration.
How do you know if your water level is low?
The feeling of thirst is a pretty good indicator of your current hydration level. For instance, if you wake up feeling dehydrated, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. If your mouth feels dry or if you feel thirsty while expending energy (especially during a workout or while in the sun) that’s your cue to hydrate. For those looking to achieve optimal amounts of sweat during workouts (or infrared sessions) it’s imperative that you keep water handy, the body just can’t produce a lot of sweat when you’re dehydrated.
How does dehydration happen?
Throughout the day our bodies become dehydrated because we use water to function. Dehydration can occur when a person goes about their day as usual without consuming H20 and it can also occur when we sweat and do not replace the water lost. A dry mouth is a sign of dehydration as is yellow or dark-colored urine. You know your body, so keep an eye out for these signs!
How to make sure you’re drinking enough
If you exercise or participate in another sweat inducing activity, you need to drink extra water to make up for the loss of fluid. Not only is it crucial to drink water before a workout, but it’s also imperative that you hydrate during (experts say every 15 minutes or so) and after your workout, too! Sound familiar? ;) To calculate how many glasses you need each day you can try this calculator we found on BodyBuilding.com or you can check out this nifty chart.
Can you drink too much water?
Although it’s not common it can happen and it’s called hyponatremia. If the body consumes more water than it can handle the sodium levels in your blood can become diluted. This leads the body to draw water from the blood into the cells to equalize the sodium level and this causes cell swelling. In some cases, hyponatremia is fatal, especially for athletes.
If you’re struggling to up your water intake here are some tips that may help!
FIT Bodywrap Hydration Tips
- Incorporate fruit: Antioxidants, vitamins and hydration?! YES! When someone tells us “I can’t drink water, it tastes gross” we always suggest that they sweeten up the flavor with natures natural sugars, fruit! You can get creative and come up with your own blend (Basil + Blueberries = Yum!) or you can start simple and try lemons at first. Either way, if it assists you with hydration, provides your body with nutrients, and tastes good that’s a win.
- Give yourself a goal: Take your weight, the amount of physical activity you participate in, the number of infrared sessions you participate in each week and come up with how much water you need each day. Once you have your number it can be helpful to purchase a special water bottle that shows you the ounces. Let’s face it, meeting goals is fun and it also triggers a positive response in the brain! Additionally, drinking a glass of water before and after your meal can help with weight loss. Water can make you feel more full and assist you with eating smaller portions ;)
- When drinking soda, caffeine or alcohol up the water intake: All three beverages can contribute to dehydration and although they are all fluids they aren’t exactly hydrating. We know, we know, you need your coffee (and your champagne!) but hear us out here, if you switch one glass of soda/coffee/wine for a glass of water each day you’ll be one step closer to achieving hydration.
- Keep a bottle of water close by: Those who carry around a water bottle, keep glasses on their desk and next to their bed may stay more hydrated. Experts say it’s best to sip throughout the day rather than chugging six bottles at once, so keep that in mind ;)
If wellness is a priority for you, your hydration should be as well! Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring, so grab a water bottle, bedazzle it (if you want), toss in some fruit and start drinking!