Are You Hydrated?
How much water do you drink per day?
During these hot days of Summer it’s very important to pay attention to your hydration levels. How much water do you drink? Most of us have heard the recommendation of drinking “Eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day” and you know that staying hydrated is important for your body, but do you really know why it is important?
Most of our fluids are received through drinking water and other beverages (not soda or caffeinated beverages), but we can also get some water from foods with high water content such as celery, melons, broths and tomatoes.
So why is it so important to stay hydrated? Without water, humans can only survive a couple days. Water comprises of a large percentage of the human body, from 75% in infants to 55% in elderly people.
Water helps to keep your temperature regulated, lubricate and cushions joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and rids your body of waste through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration and even mild dehydration can zap you of energy and leave you feeling tired.
So what about the “Eight 8-oz glasses per day rule”? Well, it is a general recommendation that is easy to remember but every individual’s needs are different depending on gender, activity level, overall health and environment among other factors.
According to the Institute of medicine, the adequate intake for men is roughly 13 cups of total beverages per day and for women, about 9 cups. So it seems the general rule of thumb, drink at least eight 8-oz glasses per day, but adjust your intake per your body’s needs.
Keep a water bottle or drinking glass with you and make sure it stays filled. Consider using a bottle with measurements on it so you can keep track of how much you are drinking. If you feel thirsty, reach for water, not beverages with calories, sugar or caffeine. Staying hydrated keeps your body healthy and running more efficiently, and, it makes you feel better so you can be more productive and alert!
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