Hydrate for Health

Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES

With warmer temperatures on the way we might not be thinking about our water intake as much as we do in the wintertime. Since our bodies are not able to store extra water, we need to make sure we are drinking enough water daily for our bodies to function properly. For some of us, if we’re not doing any physical activity it might be easy to overlook how much water we are consuming throughout the day. We lose water from sweating, urinating, bowel movements, and exhaling. When we feel thirsty we have already put ourselves in a state of mild dehydration. Water plays an important role in bodily functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints, moistens and protects tissues and organs, helps with digestion, prevents constipation, and helps eliminate waste.

So, how do we know if we are getting enough? The simplest way is by the color of our urine. If the color is yellow, we need to be drinking more, and if it is clear, then our body is properly hydrated. A basic equation for determining the amount of water we should drink is half of our body weight in ounces. So, if we have someone who weighs 180 lbs. that person should be drinking 90 ounces of water a day. Also keep in mind the amount of activity performed daily, as this would increase our water intake from excess sweat. Making sure we drink water throughout the day and knowing what to look for (feeling thirsty, yellow urine) can help ensure that we are giving our body what it needs to maintain proper hydration.

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