Understanding Hydration and How much you need?
Drinking enough water each day is beneficial to your overall health and well-being. An average body human body is composed of approximately 60% of water. Proper hydration can help with a variety of bodily functions. Some of these functions include maintaining a normal body temperature and assisting with digestion. Proper hydration is essential for exercise performance, as even mild dehydration can have an impact. Most healthy adults meet their daily fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals throughout the day. Furthermore, certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables, broths, or soups, have a higher water content, which contributes to your overall fluid intake.
To avoid dehydration, it is critical to understand that our bodies lose water through both normal bodily processes and sweat. Furthermore, active people who live at higher altitudes or in warmer temperatures may experience greater water loss than those who do not live in these conditions.
While there is no set amount of plain water that adults should drink each day, there are general guidelines to follow to ensure that you are getting enough fluid. AI for general, healthy adults are determined by gender and age. Remember that these figures include water consumed through foods and beverages. Food accounts for approximately 20% of total fluid intake. It is generally recommended that an average male must drink at least 15.5 cups of fluid in a day. While for an average female, the recommended minimum consumption stands at 11.5 cups per day.
Checking the colour of your urine is an easy way to assess your fluid status if you’re curious about your fluid intake. If your urine is a pale yellow colour, you are probably well hydrated. If the colour of your urine is dark yellow or amber, it may be a sign that you need to drink more fluids. It should be noted that some medications, foods, and vitamin/mineral supplements will cause your urine to change colour. Consider the following suggestions for staying hydrated:
- Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day so that you have it handy when you get thirsty.
- Choose unsweetened beverages over soda, juice, or energy drinks.
- With each meal, drink a beverage such as water or milk.
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet throughout the day.
- Set a reminder for yourself to hydrate at specific times throughout the day.
- Throughout the day, try to get the majority of your fluid from water or other food sources, but keep in mind that beverages like coffee, tea, and even fruit juice will contribute to your daily fluid intake.
- Consider a sports drink with electrolytes if you’ve lost a lot of water through sweating to help replenish the electrolytes lost as well as aid in fluid absorption and retention.
If you find drinking water in its normal form to be boring, you can add in something that gives it a twist. However, ensure that the extra addition doesn’t outweigh the positive effect of water consumption. Lemon, mint leaves, and plant protein powder are some of the commodities that can be mixed with water and consumed to make it interesting.