This week we continue our series on Healthy Habits. Creating a lifestyle of sustainable health involves putting into practice some tried and true habits. Today's Wellness Wednesday dives into the habits we can create around hydration and our water intake.
Water is vital for your health. Without a proper intake of water, we can easily become dehydrated. Dehydration can result in a number of symptoms such as “brain fog”, mood changes, overheating, and constipation and kidney stones. Your body needs water, and depends on it to survive since it’s your body’s principal chemical component. Water makes up anywhere from 50-70% of your body weight. (Information pulled from www.mayoclinic.org)
As you probably know, water also doesn’t contain any calories, so it's a great aid in managing body weight. When you substitute water for drinks with calories, such as sweet tea or regular soda, you can easily reduce your daily calorie count.
The big question is: How much water should I be drinking? Unfortunately, there’s no simple, generic answer that covers all demographics of people. Knowing your own body, habits, and overall health will help aid you in determining the right amount of water for you.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released statistics that established an adequate daily fluid intake at roughly 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day for women. Note that this statistic speaks on daily fluids. This includes water, but also includes any fluids we take in from food as well as other beverages.
You’ve probably heard of the recommendation of drinking 8 glasses of water per day. For most healthy people, this is a good goal. There are circumstances, however, that could alter this estimate. For instance, if you spend time exercising and sweat, you’ll need to replenish the fluid that was lost. Sweating due to living in hot or humid climates can also alter your required intake of water. It’s also easier to get dehydrated at higher altitudes, so those living in mountain areas should also be more conscious of water intake. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may also need to modify your water intake in order to stay hydrated. Lastly, your overall health is a factor. When you’ve been sick, you’ve probably heard people tell you to “get plenty of fluids.” Conditions such as fever, diarrhea, or vomiting deplete your body of fluids, so replenishing those is important as you fight off illness.
So how will you know when you’ve reached your “sweet spot” when it comes to your water intake level? Your body will give you signs of being hydrated. For instance, you will rarely feel thirsty and your urine will be colorless or a light yellow.
Be on the lookout for our future “Healthy Habits” posts in the coming weeks on Wellness Wednesday, and as always, if you have particular questions for concerning your health and wellness give any of our three offices a call! Our staff will get you set up with an opportunity for you to discuss your questions or concerns with our capable and caring providers.
We wish you all the best for your diet as well as every aspect of your health on this Wellness Wednesday and thank you for following along with us!