Are you drinking enough water? During a single bout of exercise (approximately 1 hour) it is common to lose up to 3% of your body’s water as a result of energy production. This loss can be seen in you amount of sweat you produce. One of the easiest ways to insure that your body has adequate water, and prevent dehydration, is to consume water before, during and after exercise.
How Much is Enough?
A simple rule of thumb is to consume 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight in each 24 hour period. So if you weigh in at 150 pounds, you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water in one day. And this needs to be water (flavored or plain) and not other beverages, like coffee, juice, sports drinks or soda. Additionally, “watering” down a juice or sports drink doesn’t count towards your water intake. It is certain components of these beverages that prevent the absorption of the water molecules. In fact, if you drink a 16 oz coffee you should add 16 oz of water to your daily intake. You also need to add about 20 oz of water intake for every hour of physical activity. This of course needs to be adjusted by the level of physical excursion. I know what you are thinking – “That’s a lot of water!” It will seem that way at first but once you get used to it you really will feel a lot healthier.
An Added Bonus
Did you know that the feeling of being bloated can be a result of mild dehydration? When your body isn’t getting enough water it actually starts to “hoard” the water in the system. This results in a decrease in expulsion of water and an increase in cell volume throughout the body. Once your body is properly hydrated you may see a lower number on the scale, up to 10 pounds, even!!
Water is the Fluid of Life
You are probably wondering why I would spend a whole post on water consumption. Well, Water is the fluid of life, it is the current that keeps our systems flowing. Water carries in nutrition, fuels the body’s processes and then removes the waste. Our bodies are more than half water and can only tolerate an 8% decrease before body systems begin to malfunction. So keeping your body – and your children’s for that matter – properly hydrated is paramount for a healthy lifestyle. Another interesting tidbit about water – If you “feel” thirsty, you are already dehydrated!!