Is it normal for you to feel tired during the day, experience headaches often, get dizzy when exercising, and/or have dry skin? These, are common symptoms (amongst others to be described later), that are culprits of dehydration, in which an estimated 50-75% of the population unknowingly and chronically lives with on a day to day basis.
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? A basic recommendation is 8 cups a day (imagine a half gallon of milk). That's the pretty bare bones minimum though, so if you aren't even meeting this, kit's time to step your game up. Depending on your age, weight, gender, environment (extreme heat or cold), and obviously how much you exercise, this number could be a serious low-ball.
The cool part about all this is that it doesn't just have to be pure water, it can also include water in beverages and food. Drinking water and other beverages will supply 70 to 80% of our intake for the day, 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:
These would come out to be two large water bottles a day, think Nalgene sized.
What's Your Pee Look Like (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.