Do you wonder if you are drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated? If you are like most Americans, the answer is probably no. Why does this matter? Your body is more than 60% water, so it needs sufficient hydration to perform vital functions like delivering nutrients to your cells, flushing out toxins, and regulating body temperature. As a Hot Yoga teacher and Health Coach, I get asked a lot of questions about this topic so I am here today with some general info and three of my favorite tips to make it easier to stay hydrated.
How much water do I need to drink?
The amount of hydration your body needs to thrive depends on a variety of factors including age, gender, location and activity level. The general daily guidelines from the Institute for Medicine is 15 cups of water for men and 11 cups for women. However, you don’t actually have to get all of this water by drinking it. You receive about 20% percent of your hydration through the foods you eat, like fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables. This means women need to drink about 9 cups of water per day and men about 12 cups as long as you’re eating hydrating foods. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines. You’ll want to tune into to your body to figure out what is best for you.
How do I know if I am dehydrated?
Signs of dehydration include fatigue, hunger, headaches, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Drink before you feel thirsty, especially when exercising heavily. You can check for dehydration by peeking at your pee. If it is pale or light-colored, you are well-hydrated. If it is bright yellow, drink more water! Darker shades of pee indicate increasing levels of dehydration. (Note: vitamin supplements can alter the color of your urine so if you are taking them the hue of your pee might not be a good hydration indicator.)
Get Hooked Tips:
#1: Wake up. Pee. Drink.
I keep a big glass of water handy so I start hydrating first thing in the morning. You can knock out 8 ounces before you even get out of your pajamas!
#2: Infuse your water with flavor
Fill up a mason jar with water and toss in lemon slices, strawberries, cucumbers, mint leaves . . . anything that will give your water flavor. It’s also pretty to look at it so it’s more fun to grab.
I also like to make flavored ice cubes. Place berries or herbs in your ice cube trays and pour water on top. Freeze and enjoy!
#3: Set reminders
Forget to drink? There are several free apps you can download or simply set an alarm on your phone. Once you get in the habit of hydrating, you will feel so good you will probably find that you don’t need reminders at all!
If you have any other tips on how you stay hydrated I would love to hear them! Cheers to your health and drink up!