Okay, it might not be the sexiest topic, but today we are going to chat about the importance of drinking water. That’s right we’re talking cool, refreshing, life-sustaining, we-die-without-it H2O.
Did you know that around 80% of the population is dehydrated? That’s no typo, eighty percent! That means if you are in a group of 5 people, 4 of you are dehydrated! If those were a horse’s odds of winning you’d be throwing down $100 bills right now! Not a gambler? Let’s say you were told a bridge had an 80% chance of collapsing as you cross it…feeling lucky? I think you get my drift.
So how much water is enough?
According to the Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake of total beverage per day is about three liters or 13 cups for men and 2.2 liters or 9 cups for women. It’s important to note that you can develop water intoxication or hyponatremia if you drink way too much water. You’d have to drink a ton of water but in rare situations it’s fatal, so stick to the recommended intake.
About 80% of our total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages (including caffeinated beverages) and the other 20% is derived from food (mainly fruits and vegetables). There are of course variables that alter our hydration requirements for example people in hot climates and women who are pregnant need much more water. That can be addressed in further detail another day.
Ultimately, our bodies are made up of around 60% water, so when we are dehydrated nearly every system in our body is unable to function properly. We can live much longer without food than we could live without water…it’s THAT important.
How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?
First let me emphasize that when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. That’s right, waiting until you are parched is a horrible way to hydrate. Your body is already telling you it’s at a deficit. Drink plenty of water with the goal of not letting it come to thirst.
Here is a list of 10 symptoms that could be helped by drinking water!
- Dry, sticky mouth – Sounds pretty obvious right? Try some water!
- Fatigue, confusion or irritability – Do you feel pissed off with the energy of a zombie? Before you fill your glass with whiskey…try some water.
- Dry eyes or blurred vision – Thinking you might need to get glasses? Maybe you just need more water.
- Headaches or disorientation – Perhaps it isn’t a tension or sinus headache, try a glass of water before you reach for those over-the-counter meds.
- Muscle cramps – Muscle cramps are the worst. Are you unknowingly bringing them on yourself by not drinking enough H2O?
- Mindless eating – This one isn’t exactly a symptom, but if you find yourself noshing mindlessly, try to drink a glass of water to determine if you are truly hungry or not.
- Lack of sweat – Are you one of those magical people that never sweat? Or are you just dehydrated?
- Dark urine – This is another pretty obvious one. Drink water dude.
- Fever – Sometimes dehydration can bring on a fever. Make sure you get your fluids in before you assume it’s something else.
- Dry skin – “It puts the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again” has a whole new meaning.
These are a number of symptoms that can often be taken care of by making sure you are hydrated. Of course some of them can be related to something else, but your first course of action should be grabbing a cold one (and no I don’t mean beer).
It’s easy to forget, so here are some quick tips to help you drink more water through the day.
- Make sure the first thing you consume every morning is a glass of water. Set a reminder alarm for yourself if you need to.
- There’s an app for that! Probably like 50 actually. Download the one you like and keep track for a few weeks until it becomes more of a habit.
- Buy yourself a nice water bottle and keep refilling it throughout the day. Eventually you’ll feel naked without it.
- Invest in a water filter. Some water just tastes gross. You’ll enjoy filtered water much more.
- Eat your water! If you have trouble drinking it why not eat it? Try foods like watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and grapefruit. mmmmm.
The moral of the story is drink your water folks! Your life depends on it.
Why not bring that full water bottle to a spinn or circuit class with us at Honest? Your first week is free! Sign up here! Cheers!