How To Be A Grape
Ever thought water was the BEST THING EVER during a workout? You just couldn’t get enough? Water is just as important when we aren’t throwing around weights or on a StairMaster sweating and panting profusely. Though not always the most exciting beverage, it is essential for optimal health and survival.
We are approximately 60% water. A true liquid asset to our health, water does so much for us including the regulation of body temperature, lubrication of our joints and body tissues, delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cells, flushes out waste products, prevents constipation, and maintains blood volume.
So how much do you need? Generally, 8 cups a day (imagine a half gallon of milk) is recommended a day. Is that true, do you really need THAT much? Exercise, age, weight, gender, and environment (extreme heat or cold), could increase or decrease this number.
Math Cap On
If science is your thing and you want to figure out exactly how much water you need, one calculation for estimated water intake for the average healthy adult is 30 – 35 mL/kg of body weight. To convert your body weight in pounds to kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, a person weighing 160 lbs. (~73 kg) would want to strive for ~2,300 mL – ~2 ,600 mL of water per day (2.3 L – 2.6 L/day or 9 –11 cups/day).
The Adequate Intake recommends that women 19 years and older drink 2.7 L per day and men of the same age range drink 3.7 L per day.
For the less mathematically inclined of us, an even simpler strategy is to take your weight in pounds, divide by 2, and the answer would be the amount of ounces to strive for per day. For example, a person weighing 200 lbs. would want to drink 100 oz. of water per day, which is ~3 L per day or ~13 cups.
These estimates of water include drinking water, water in beverages, and water in foods. Drinking water and other beverages will supply 70 to 80 percent, while foods will contribute to the remainder. If you are more visual and the calculations are deterring you from wanting to know how much you should drink per day, just follow these two general rules of thumb for a grown adult, which is a) drink before you're thirsty, and b) drink a minimum half a gallon of water per day. These would come out to be two water bottles a day, as most water bottles are 32 ounces.
What's Your Pee Look Like (No, I'm Not Trying to Be Creepy)
Most of us know that a dark colored and smelly urine is a sign of dehydration. Anything leaning towards more yellow than clear is a sign you need to sub the coffee for some agua. Additional physical signs of dehydration can include but aren’t limited to a dry/sticky mouth, weight gain, joint pain and stiffness, and bladder/kidney problems. I don't know about you, but I'm reaching for a sip of that drank right now. Night time activities like drinking alcohol and sleeping can also dry you out. Drinking a large glass of water right after you wake up is a great way to rehydrate from sleeping and kickstart your day.
Tricks and Tips
If drinking water consistently really is a struggle for you, spice things up by adding slices of fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. Fruits may include orange slices, fresh assorted berries (or frozen!), cucumber slices, watermelon slices, lemon and lime slices. Herbs can be anything from mint, sage, cinnamon sticks, and basil—explore!
Another tip is to buy a "water timer bottle" such as the one on the right from Shantel Cook Designs. When it’s in sight, it’s in mind, allowing you not only easy access, but an easy decision when you need a drink.
Secondly, create a chart or the like that will allow you to see your daily water consumption from drinking water specifically. This will allow you to see if you met your goal for the day. The small wins add up! Eventually, you may be able to do without the charting as it becomes habit to consume the proper amount of drinking water.