Your body is constantly using and losing water. Your skin evaporates sweat, every breath contains water vapor, and your entire digestive system relies on fluids to help it work correctly. If you are using more water for basic bodily functions than what you are consuming, you risk becoming dehydrated.
Why Staying Hydrated is Good for Your Body
Being well-hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Our bodies are made up of about 50-70% water, which means every part of your body relies on fluids in order to function properly.
Drinking enough fluids is especially important while working out. Water helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly. If your muscles can’t maintain their balance of electrolytes and fluids, it can cause poor performance and muscle fatigue. The American College of Sports Medicine advises that you drink 17 ounces of fluid about 2 hours before you plan on exercising. They also advise that you need to continue drinking throughout your workout to help replace fluids lost to sweating.
Water also plays an important role in weight loss by helping to reduce the number of calories you consume. It can act as a natural appetite suppressant by filling up space in your stomach which helps to produce a feeling of fullness and reduces the hunger signals sent by your brain. Sometimes we can even confuse these hunger signals when we’re actually just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water before reaching for a snack.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
While this may seem like an easy question to answer, it’s not. Everyone has different needs when it comes to water intake. Your health, how active you are and where you live are also factors you need to consider when trying to estimate how much water you need to drink every day. That being said, the average healthy adult, according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, estimates that you should be consuming:
- About 15.5 cups (124 fluid ounces, or 3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (92 fluid ounces, or 2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
Should Pregnant Women Drink More Water?
Yes! Staying adequately hydrated is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women need to drink more water than normal to support the increased volume of blood, carry nutrients throughout the body, and create amniotic fluid. According to the Journal of Perinatal Education, having enough fluids in the body also ensures that the mother can tolerate blood loss when delivering the baby. Pregnant women should add another glass or two of water to their intake each day.
All Fluids Are Not Created Equal
Not all fluids are created equal. Sugary drinks such as juice and soda should be avoided for hydration and weight loss. A 12oz can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar! Water is easily your best choice. It’s calorie free, caffeine free, inexpensive and readily available.
Can Certain Foods Keep You Hydrated?
In the United States, it is estimated that about 22% of our daily water comes from our food intake. Many fruits and vegetables are healthy, water-rich choices. For example, 1 cup of watermelon contains over a ½ cup of water! Strawberries, cantaloupe, and peaches are all about 90% water, while bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and celery are great vegetable options that are all over 92% water.
At Loyalty Fitness we take hydration seriously! Be sure to talk to one of our certified personal trainers for tips and tricks to help you add more water into your daily routine. Contact us today to set up your next personal training session.