You’d most likely know already that you need plenty of water, particularly after a rigorous workout. But are you guzzling enough? Did you know that on average, people drink a little more than four glasses a day? It’s time to stop shortchanging yourself as this can affect your workout, your weight, overall health and beauty! Here's how to make sure you're getting your fill to stay healthy and revved up for anything.
Why is it important to stay hydrated?
Our body is composed of up to 70% water. That means our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to function properly. For instance, water is critical to maintain body temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is just necessary for good health.
Heart health. Keeping your body hydrated helps the heart to more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles.
Good skin. Expensive creams and treatments are useless if you’re dehydrated. Water is one of the best things that can help your skin look young and glowing all year long. Staying hydrated promotes faster skin repair.
Improved performance. If you’re an athlete, staying hydrated is a big factor in order to maximize your performance. Since water is involved in almost all processes in the body, being dehydrated can start to hinder your body's ability to perform.
Suppress appetite. Studies reveal that people who stay on top of their water intake tend to consume fewer calories. This is a great technique for someone who tends to overeat when bored. Keeping your body hydrated also keeps bad belly bloat at bay.
Boost metabolism. Drinking more water may actually help you burn more calories! One study showed that those who drank eight to 12 glasses of water daily burned more fat than those who only drank four or less.
How much should you be drinking?
The general consensus is that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. However, different people have different needs and would likewise need different amounts of water to stay properly hydrated. For some people, less than eight glasses a day will suffice and in other people eight glasses a day won't be enough and they’d have to drink more.
People who are at a higher risk of dehydration are those who work out regularly, have certain medical conditions, older adults, and those who just can't maintain adequate fluid consumption throughout the day.
If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, the best way is to check your urine. If your urine is colorless or light yellow, you are most likely well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.
Besides water, what else can keep you hydrated?
Water is still the best option for staying hydrated. Other drinks can help you stay hydrated but may add extra calories from sugar.
Drinks like fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and teas can contribute to the amount of water you get each day. Even caffeinated drinks can contribute to your daily liquid intake. A moderate amount of caffeine is generally not harmful. But it’s recommended to limit caffeinated drinks as such may cause some people to urinate more frequently or feel anxious.
Hydration is NOT just for athletes
Hydration is not just crucial during physical activity. Sitting in front on the computer on a hot or humid day, even if you aren’t exercising, can also cause your body to require more fluids. People who have a heart condition, older than 50 or overweight may also need to take extra precautions.
In general, just make it a habit to hydrate your body throughout the day!