Staying Hydrated for Your Health

Your body is approximately 60% water. Water is ESSENTIAL! One can only survive a few days without water. According to NASM, sedentary (or non-active) men should drink 3.0 Liters (~13 cups) and sedentary (or non-active) women should consume 2.2 Liters (~9 cups) of water per day. If you are exercising or have an active job, you should definitely increase your water intake to over these recommendations.

I consume about 1.25-1.5 gallons (4.7-5.7 Liters or 20-24 cups) of water each day, with a minimum of 1 gallon at the very least. A tip that I do to track my water intake is to take it from a gallon jug of H2O. That way I know how much water I have left a day to drink, at a minimum. I aim to finish 1 gallon by the end of the workday at 5:00pm. I start drinking water as soon as I wake up at 4:30am, so it gives me 12 hours to drink one gallon.

Here are some of the benefits of staying adequately hydrated:

·         Endocrine gland function improves

·         Fluid retention is alleviated (If you are continually hydrated, your body will be better at regulating its water and you will not “hold” excess water as much)

·         Liver functions improve, increasing the percentage of fat used for energy

·         Natural thirst returns (A lot of people think they are hungry, but they are just not adequately hydrated. If so, those false food cravings may go away)

·         Metabolic functions improve

·         Nutrients are distributed throughout the body

·         Body-temperature regulation improves

·         Blood volume is maintained

Here are some of the effects of dehydration:

·         Decreased blood volume

·         Decreased performance (adversely affects circulatory functions)

·         Decreased blood pressure

·         Increased core temperature

·         Water retention

·         Increased heart rate

·         Sodium retention

·         Decreased cardiac output

·         Decreased blood flow to the skin

·         Increased perceived exertion (you think you are working harder than you actually are)

·         Increased use of muscle glycogen