Hydration and Your Health
Water is essential to life and health. Your body needs to stay adequately hydrated to function properly, and water plays more of a role in your daily life than you might think. The average human body is 50â60% water, and it resides in all your muscles, joints, and organs.
Nutrients are brought to your organs and muscles with water, and your brain needs it to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Your hydration level helps regulate body temperature, and allows all of your cells to grow, reproduce, and survive. Water flushes out waste, lubricates joints, and helps deliver oxygen through your system. Without enough water, your body just canât function properly.
How Much Water Should You Really Drink?
There are so many rules for hydration. Youâll hear advice like you need to drink eight to 12 glasses of water per day and stay away from caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee, or that you only need to monitor water intake during hot days and when you exercise. If you want to stay adequately hydrated, there are some basic truths you need to know. And doing so could help you lose weight and feel better.
How to Determine How Much Water to Drink
How much water you should consume really depends on your weight and activity level. A good way to gauge how much you should drink is to divide your weight by two, with that number equaling how many ounces you should aim for per day. If youâre very active or sweat a lot, itâs probably a good idea to drink a little more. Paying attention to the color of your urine is important, too. You can tell that youâre adequately hydrated if your urine is either clear or has a slight yellowish hue. If itâs darker, you should hydrate!
Count Your Fruits and Vegetables
You can hydrate with more than just water, so counting every cup isnât necessary. Fruits and vegetables are very high in water content, so if youâre eating a lot of them, youâre getting plenty of water. An average-sized apple, for example, has about a cup of water. Celery is virtually all water.
Should You Count Caffeinated Drinks?
Caffeine can be a mild diuretic, but that doesnât mean coffee and tea will dehydrate you. Remember, coffee and tea arenât pure caffeine, so the water content in a cup wonât all be lost.
Drink When Thirsty
Lastly, it is recommended that you drink when thirsty and sip water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.
Bonus Tip: Drink When Hungry
Hereâs one final trick to staying hydrated: when you feel the hunger pangs, try reaching for a glass of water first. A lot of the time the body isnât telling you to eat; itâs asking for something to drink!
Source for Todayâs Article:
âThe water in you,â USGS web site, March 17, 2014; http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html, last accessed March 17, 2015.
Bastin, S., et al., âWater Content of Fruits and Vegetables,â University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment web site, 1997; http://www2.ca.uky.edu/enri/pubs/enri129.pdf, last accessed March 17, 2015.