One of my friends clients told her the other day that she never drinks water.. my jaw dropped when I heard the fluids she consumes consists of soda and alcohol. I realized that not everyone may know why your body NEEDS water and how it aids in your health and fitness. And that's when I started typing away. It's things like this that don't dawn on me that not everyone may be informed. My daily life is going pee about 10 times a day and drinking a bottle of water every hour. The picture above is the amount of water I drank from 6 am to 4 pm in one regular work day. Those bottles hold about 25oz of water and I had about 3 more in the evening. So I drink around 200 oz of water per day.
When something is just the norm for you it's hard to know what to share and inform people on (cough cough, give me some blog ideas ;).
According to the CDC, water helps your body regulate it's body temperature, cushion joints, protect the spinal cord and other tissues, and get rid of waste. All that sounds pretty important right? Well, WebMD also says, your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
A few IMPORTANT things I'd like to touch on:
Sweat: With physical activity you sweat, or you should be! Well that sweat is how your body is cooling down. It's a bodily fluid, it's water!
Muscles: Especially when you're on a workout regimen your muscles need water too! "When muscle cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work as well and performance can suffer," says Kaiser Permanente Nephrologist Steven Guest, MD.
Toxins: "Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate," Says Guest. Imagine if all you drank was alcohol and soda. You're putting toxins into your body, and your body has no way of getting rid of them because it's deprived of water. YUCK.
A few ways to tell if you're not getting enough water:
1) Notice your skin, is it dry and flaky?
2) Notice your urine. Does it smell? Is it a bright yellow or orange color?
3) Are your muscles fatigued?
4) Are you getting constant headaches?
5) Do you feel hungry even after having just eaten?
6) Is your mouth dry?
7) Are you constipated?
8) Are you hot all the time or feel dizzy during workouts?
How much should I be drinking? Many say at least 8 -- 8oz glasses of water per day, I agree I say AT LEAST that amount!
According to Robert A. Huggins, PhD, of the University of Connecticut, how much water you should drink each day really, truly depends on the person. He says that Fluid needs are dynamic and need to be individualized from person to person. Factors such as sex, environmental conditions, level of heat acclimatization, exercise or work intensity, age, and even diet need to be considered.
Rule of thumb, when you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Drink water not soda to clench your thirst!