About a year ago, I went to see Jerry Seinfeld do a stand-up comedy performance. He did a bit on health kicks and cleanses, and made some jokes about the obsession with “hydration.” I agree with Mr. Seinfeld that the buzz about hydration can be a little overdone; however, it is an extremely important component of your overall health.
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 50–60% 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 can’t function properly.
How Much Water Should You Really Drink?
There are so many rules for hydration. You’ll 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 you’re very active or sweat a lot, it’s probably a good idea to drink a little more. Paying attention to the color of your urine is important, too. You can tell that you’re adequately hydrated if your urine is either clear or has a slight yellowish hue. If it’s darker, you should hydrate!
Count Your Fruits and Vegetables
You can hydrate with more than just water, so counting every cup isn’t necessary. Fruits and vegetables are very high in water content, so if you’re eating a lot of them, you’re 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 doesn’t mean coffee and tea will dehydrate you. Remember, coffee and tea aren’t pure caffeine, so the water content in a cup won’t 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
Here’s 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 isn’t telling you to eat; it’s asking for something to drink!
Source for Today’s Article:
“The water in you,” USGS web site, March 17, 2014; http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html, last accessed March 17, 2015.
Bastin, S., et al., “Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables,” 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.