Are You Drinking Enough Water? Hydration 101Mar 28, 2023
Drinking water… everyone’s favorite thing to do, right? I wish this were the case but it’s definitely not. If you are actually drinking enough water, pat yourself on the back - you are in the minority - good job! Hydrating your body is so important it deserves its own blog post. Sit back, relax, and grab a glass of clean water while you continue reading.
Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling, and eliminating waste. The human body consists of roughly 60% water, this varies a bit depending on your sex and how athletic you are. That is a lot of water! On average, the body loses and needs to replace about 2-3 liters of water every day. This amount is even higher for athletes as they tend to sweat more and have more muscle mass (muscle is about 80% water).
Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water
Drinking enough water every day is crucial for so many reasons.
- Regulates body temperature
- Keeps joints lubricated
- Helps prevent infections
- Delivers nutrients to cells
- Keeps organs functioning properly
- Plays a big role in supporting detoxification
- Helps maximize physical performance
- Improves energy levels
- Improves brain function and cognition
- Improves mood
- Prevents and treats headaches
- Helps relieve constipation
- Supports weight loss
- Supports healthy skin
- Improves sleep quality
Whew! Those are some seriously important reasons to drink enough water. Unfortunately 95% of my clients aren’t drinking enough water when we begin working together. The good news is that improving your hydration is fairly easy to do!
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Your age, body size, and activity levels all impact how much water you should drink. Without knowing those details about you I can’t give you a super precise suggestion. However there are two schools of thought that can provide general recommendations when it comes to water quantity. The first is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. I personally feel this is the MINIMUM amount of water you should drink. The other approach recommends 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Your unique needs may lie somewhere in between those ranges, and probably align more with the higher end of that range if you’re an athlete.
Can I drink too much water?
Overhydration, called hyponatremia, does occur although it’s very rare. It’s primarily a concern for competitive athletes who are specifically trying to replace lost fluids. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte disorder in which plasma concentrations of sodium fall too low.
How Do I Know if I’m Drinking Enough Water?
Your urine color can be an indicator of how hydrated you are (see infographic below). However, urine color isn’t your only indicator of dehydration. If you’re working out or competing and start feeling a little confused, get a headache, tire quickly, become dizzy or light headed when standing up, or feel really moody, these are all early warning signs of dehydration. You need to start drinking. Below I’ve listed several other potential warning signs of dehydration. In general if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
Signs of Dehydration
Symptoms of dehydration can include:
- Dry skin
- Fatigue and weakness
- Increased body temperature
- Muscle cramping
- Darker coloured urine
- Dry mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes)
Severe dehydration can also include:
- Muscle spasms
- Dark urine
- Vision problems
- Loss of consciousness
- Kidney and liver failure
As I said in the beginning of this article, the majority of people aren’t drinking nearly enough water. When in doubt grab an extra glass and drink up!
Cheers to Finding Your Glow!
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