The benefits of being hydrated are numerous by enhancing all systems of our body. Water aids in digestion, joint health, cognitive function, metabolism, muscle and organ function. If we do not drink enough water to hydrate efficiently we risk adverse effects that minimize performance, and worse compromise the strength of our immune system.
How Much Water Do We Need?
The general rule of thumb is that you should drink half your bodyweight in ounces daily. Of course those generic guidelines do not take into effect other variables such as climate, daily activity, and overall nutrition habits. Those variables would increase the demand of water intake.
How Do I Know If I Am Dehydrated?
Dehydration means you have lost more water within your body than you are taking in. Consider that our bodies are comprised of 60-80% water. A loss in balance will create a rippling effect within our systems. Dry lips, dry skin, nosebleeds, dark yellow urine and headaches can all be a sign of dehydration. You can also perform a simple skin pinch test. With two fingers gently pinch and pull up on the skin and let go. Hydrated skin will bounce back into normal position within seconds. Severe dehydration such as not having the ability to urinate, fainting, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or breathing are cause for immediate concern and you should seek medical attention immediately.
Do I Have To Drink Just Water?
The answer is no, but simple water is the best strategy. Sugary water, coffee, and wine can actually have a dehydrating effect. A simple strategy would be to minimize those drinks, however if you do drink them make sure to also drink water with them.
Is All Water The Same?
No, there are different varieties of water that you must be aware of when choosing what to drink. Three common choices are:
- Tap Water: The most common form of water comes right from your sink (municipal sourced). Tap water contains fluoride and chlorine, if you are drinking from the tap it is best to install a filter system.
- Spring Water: In 2019, Americans drank over 14 billion gallons of bottled water. In fact, we are drinking more bottled water than their sugary carbonated counterparts! Unfortunately, when big business is involved efficacy can sometimes be effected.
- Purified Water: In order to be classified as purified water, the EPA standards state that impurities must be no more than 10 parts per million.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Electrolytes create a positive or negative charge that can effect nerve and muscle function. When we sweat we lose these important minerals, and it is paramount to replace them. Is water enough to replace them? It can be, but once again it is dependent on the source, the amount of daily intake, and daily movement.
How Can I Ensure I’m Replacing Lost Electrolytes?
You can eat electrolyte enriched foods such as pickles, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and dairy or through supplementation. The most common form of electrolyte supplementation is the popular Gatorade brand. Unfortunately, one glance at the nutrition label of Gatorade and we notice added sugars and dyes. At Dynamic Health And Fitness we recommend Catalyte from Thorne, and Nooma ready to drink coconut water.
Strategies To Stay Hydrated
Strategy 1: Have a daily water intake goal, and place that water in a container if possible. This allows you a way to track your intake.
Strategy 2: Start the day off by drinking 16 ounces of water upon waking up.
Strategy 3: Keep a bottle or glass of water close to you for constant reminder.
Strategy 4: Add electrolytes to your water, especially when exercising.
Strategy 5: If you are drinking alcohol or a sugar drink, make sure you are also drinking at least equal parts of water if not more.
Strategy 6: Move more, movement is a catalyst for water to hydrate your entire body. Sitting all day long hurts the ability for the water to travel.
Tom Brady, 2017, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance
Founded in 2001, The team at Dynamic Health And Fitness believes that individuals must take a proactive, integrated approach on their personal vitality. Our mission is to provide the strategies and techniques necessary for individuals to enhance their lives and also impact those around them. We provide cutting edge programming that fuels our performance center and suite of mobile apps. Our goal is to become a leading resource for individuals, groups, and companies to create a needed shift in health.
The DHF Performance Center is located in the Syracuse, NY area and boasts world class training facilities with cutting edge technology to assist our clients in achieving their health, wellness, and performance goals.