Water is everywhere but where you need it: inside your body. Do you ever check to see how much water you actually consume a day? How much do you need? The old adage “8 times 8 ounces a day” (or 64 total ounces) is off. Just like everything we know about different body types and metabolism, the amount of water each of us needs will vary. It makes sense that in hot, humid conditions you will sweat more, thus needing more hydration. But do you realize that your hydration levels will dry up in the dry, cold weather of winter, too?
To get a good idea of how much water you need, take your body weight and try to consume that many ounces of water a day. Yes you can count the coffee and tea you drink, but remember that the caffeine will cause you to lose more water. You may be saying, “YIKES, that’s a lot!” But look at the questions below. If you answer yes to one or more, you need to be paying more attention to the amount you take in.
1. Do you talk a lot during your day?
That takes hydration. Since your brain is about 75 percent water, you need adequate water to fully function.
2. Are you stuck in a weight-loss plateau or have found you cannot budge the scales?
Try drinking more water to get your body functioning smoothly, breaking down fat for energy after your tough interval workout, and helping to rebuild the muscles you broke down. This beats your dehydrated body slowing your metabolism and making weight-loss more frustrating than ever.
3. Do you get hungry soon after eating?
It could be hydration issues (it could also be a gluten crash, but we’ll leave that for another day). As you eat protein-rich foods, your body needs more water to break down the protein, so be sure to add more water as you add more protein to your diet.
4. Do you get headaches after a long, stressful, busy day?
Try drinking water to help alleviate your pain. This may be your body telling you that you are dehydrated. See this article about a study that shows how your brain is much more efficient when you drink enough water.
As you increase your water consumption, of course, you will need to make numerous trips to the restroom, but your body will realize you are doing a good deed for it and adapt. That is more proof of what marvelous machines our bodies are.
You can see what water can do for you to enhance your body’s efficiency and smooth running. If you are looking to slim down, improve both brain and body performance, and help ward off disease and bugs, add more water to your day.
This blog was written by Kris Simpson, NIFS Small Group and Personal Trainer. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.