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Proper Fluid Intake

Water is a key ingredient to a healthy life, and staying hydrated during exercise and work helps your body function better. Water consumption is essential to life, but how much water you should drink each day often depends on how healthy you are, how much you exercise and even where you live.

At LifeBoost in Boca Raton, Dr. Bruce J. Stratt can help you design a diet and exercise program to improve your health and overall sense of well-being. And water plays a vital role in that process.

The Mayo Clinic offers advice and tips on water consumption and other issues. Learning about your body’s fluid requirements can help you plan how much water you should drink each day.

What are the benefits of water?

Water composes around 60 percent of your body weight – and your body depends on water to function. Water clears toxins from your organs, transports nutrients to cells and provides necessary moisture for tissue.

Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, which can set in if your body lacks the proper amount of water to function normally. Dehydration can cause serious health threats and mild cases cause you to lose energy and feel fatigued. Simple body functions deplete water from your system. Breathing, sweating and going to the bathroom all lead to water loss. Replacing that lost water supply occurs when you drink or eat foods that include water.

How much should you drink?

The Mayo Clinic reports men should drink about 13 cups of beverages each day. For women, about 9 cups should do the trick.

Common advice has been to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The Mayo Clinic reports that rule has not been supported with scientific evidence. The clinic recommends the so-called 8-glass guideline should be revised to call for at least eight, 8-ounce cups of fluid a day.

Why?

Because all fluids count toward the day’s tally.

What factors play a part in fluid intake?

You may need to change how much fluid you consume based on how active you are, the type of climate where you live and your health. Pregnant women and those who breast-feed may also have to revise fluid intake.

Exercising or taking part in activities that make you sweat means you should drink additional water to combat fluid loss. An additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water should be enough for brief periods of exercise. But if you are working out hard for an hour or more, you will need even more fluids. How much depends on how much sweat you generate. While working out, consuming sports drinks with sodium helps replaces sodium lost during exercise and decreases the chances of developing life-threatening problems in the heat. And continue drinking when your workout is over.

Pregnant women and those who are breast-feeding need extra fluids to stay healthy and properly hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used, especially when nursing. Pregnant women should drink about 10 cups of fluids per day. Those who breast-feed should have about 13 cups.

Water is the obvious go-to drink to ensure you are properly hydrated.

But what you eat also plays a key role in meeting your body’s fluid needs – with food providing around 20 percent of water intake. Fruits and vegetables are a great snack – and fluid source.

Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks should not compose the major part of fluid intake. Water is the best option – and it has no calories.

If you drink enough, hardly ever feel thirsty and produce about six or more cups per day of colorless or light yellow urine per day, you are probably drinking the correct amount of fluids.

You can drink too much water.

If your kidneys can’t excrete excess water, the mineral content of your blood is impacted and you could develop hyponatremia. Marathon runners and other endurance athletes who take in large amounts of water have a higher risk of developing this condition.

To learn more about proper fluid intake and diet, make an appointment with LifeBoost today!

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