We have a fantastic guest post this week from our current dietetic intern, Jessica Hamilton, discussing the importance of staying hydrated as well as some awesome recipes for infused water and tips to help you stay hydrated if you are really struggling with getting enough water in. Check out the post below for these great tips and infusion recipes!
Did you know that 60% of your body is water?
Your body needs water to do daily functions like sweating to cool your body down or to digest food. Throughout the day, your body uses and loses water. When you’re outside in the heat, exercising, or doing something that makes you sweat, you lose even more water.
If you do not replace those lost fluids, you could become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause a lot of issues in your body and make you feel tired, dizzy, and have headaches.
It is also possible to drink too much water! This can happen when you sweat a lot, then drink a lot of water, but do not replace the electrolytes you sweat out. If you are an athlete or doing an activity that makes you sweat more than usual, you can rehydrate and replace electrolytes by drinking a sports drink, adding electrolyte powders/drops to your water, or drinking coconut water.
During a typical day, the recommendations for an average person is about 9 cups of water for women and 12.5 cups of water for men. If you carry a water bottle around, that’s about 2.5 for women and 3 water bottles for men. If this feels like a challenging place to start, a great first goal for an average day, would be 64 oz of water a day, which is approximately 8 small glasses or 2 large water bottles.
If you are very active, live in a hot climate or at a high altitude, are pregnant/breastfeeding, or have a medical condition, your water needs will vary. If you are concerned or have questions about your hydration needs, it is important to speak with a Registered Dietitian (RD) or your primary care physician (PCP).
Do you find it difficult to drink enough water? Easy ways to drink more water include:
- Carrying a water bottle – if you have it with you, you’re more likely to drink!
- Drink water with your meals (if you have issues with slow digestion, feeling full too fast, reflux, have had a bypass surgery, or other conditions indicated by a doctor to separate your water from meals please check out the other recommendations).
- Feel thirsty? This is your body telling you to drink water!
- Working from home? Place 8 tall glasses of water around the house. When you see the water at your desk, in the kitchen, or bathroom you’ll remember to drink
Dislike the taste of water? Have fun with you water and try adding some fruit to give it a fun flavor!
Some suggestions for a fruit-infused water:
Strawberry Lemonade: ¼ sliced lemons, 2 sliced strawberries
Watermelon Mint: ¼ C watermelon, 4-6 mint leaves
Refreshing Cucumber: ¼ lemon – sliced, 6-8 slices cucumber
Other Ways to Consume Water:
- Sparkling water – be careful as too many carbonated beverages can make you feel “full”
- Eat your water! Some fruits and veggies have a high-water content. Try cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, celery, and spinach.
- Unsweetened coffee or tea (while these provide you with some of your water content, make sure not to overdo them, as too much of these can cause dehydration)
I hope you enjoyed this great guest post and would love to hear any questions or feedback you have!
If you are looking for additional resources on the benefits of water consumption check out this article:
Wishing a fantastic and hydrated rest of your week!
–Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN
Denver’s Dancing Dietitian
A Taste of Health, LLC
“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”