Fluid (mainly water) is needed by all body cells for function. Water helps to regulate body temperature, carry important nutrients and oxygen to cells, remove waste, lubricate all joints, and protect organs and tissues. Our bodies are composed of approximately 67 percent water. As summer approaches and the temperatures increase outside, it is important to make sure you are taking in enough water.
How Much Fluid Do You Need?
So how much do you really need to be drinking each day?
- Drink at least 8–12 cups of fluid each day (1 cup = 8 ounces).
- Drink 2–3 cups (16–24 oz) of fluid about 2–3 hours before exercising.
- Drink 1 cup (8 oz) of fluid 10–20 minutes before a workout.
- Drink 1 cup (8 oz) of fluid every 10–20 minutes during exercise.
- Drink 2–3 cups (16–24 oz) for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
Infuse Your Water with Flavor
I often hear that water is boring or that many don’t like it, so that is the reason individuals are reaching for soda, juice drinks, or other high-calorie beverages. However, the best option for hydration and decreasing unnecessary sugar intake is still to consume water.
- Here are a few combinations that you can add to a cup of water or sparkling water for a fun, flavor-filled drink that is not so boring!
- Watermelon and jalapeño
- Lime and basil
- Apples and cinnamon sticks
- Strawberries and basil
- Raspberries and pineapple
- Blueberries, lemon, and mint
- Peach and mint
- Cucumber, melon, and mint
Monitor Your Hydration
On a final note, a simple way to monitor your hydration status on a daily basis is to monitor the color and frequency of urination. Continue drinking fluids until you are urinating approximately every 2–3 hours. When your urine is a pale color, you can be confident that you are adequately hydrated. If you are urinating more frequently and/or your urine is clear, you are drinking too much. If you are urinating less frequently and/or your urine is dark in color, you are probably dehydrated and really need to increase your intake of water.
So drink up!
This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.