Staying hydrated is important to your overall health and learning how to best hydrate your body is even more important. There are many ways to spice up your fluid intake, including getting fluids from certain foods or even adding some flavor to your water. Read the article below to learn more!
During the hot summer months, our body, which is approximately 60% water, is constantly trying to decrease its temperature by sweating; and, thus, it’s very important to make sure we are staying hydrated by drinking enough fluids. But just how much water should we really be drinking every day to ensure proper hydration?
Our body’s water requirements are impacted by many factors, including age, gender, activity level, and health status.
Water is obtained via the food and drinks we consume. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women need about 12 cups of total water from food and drink per day (or around 9 cups of fluid), whereas men need approximately 16 cups of total water from food and drink per day (or about 13 cups of fluid).
The estimates provided are based on healthy individuals and take into account that the average adult loses around 10 cups of water daily. Replenishing lost water helps maintain the body’s fluid balance.
When we cannot maintain the body’s fluid balance — such as when we are sick or taking some medications — we need to be cautious to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Mild dehydration can result in headaches, dizziness, digestion issues, moodiness, and even memory loss. Severe dehydration can cause confusion, kidney failure, or heart problems, or can even lead to death.
A simple way to gauge proper fluid intake is to look at urine color: If it’s dark yellow or amber in color, fluid consumption is low.
Importance of water
We get 20% of our water intake from the foods we eat; our body extracts and absorbs the water from the food in our intestines. The remaining 80% of our water intake comes from the fluids we drink, including juice, tea, milk, alcoholic drinks, coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
To increase fluid intake, focus on eating food high in water. Fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, watermelon, berries, leafy greens, cabbage, celery, and squash are great options.
Also, to avoid additional sugar, drink unsweetened
beverages that don’t add unhealthy calories to your diet.
Water is important to our bodies in many ways, including digesting food, regulating body temperature, removing toxins via urination and sweating and moving nutrients and water into our cells.
While we should absolutely drink water when we’re thirsty, it’s also a good idea to keep water handy —perhaps in a reusable bottle — to sip throughout the day.
For those who don’t prefer plain water, try infusing it with sliced fruits, vegetables, and herbs. TasteofHome.com suggests the following infusion combinations to liven up your water intake:
- Orange, blueberry, and mint.
- Apple, orange, cinnamon stick, and clove, with the cloves, stuck into the sides of the orange peel.
- Lemon, mint, ginger, and cucumber.
- Watermelon and strawberry.
- Kiwi and orange.
- Apple, cinnamon stick, and red pear.
- Cucumber, celery, and lemon.
- Peach, plum and mint.
- Strawberry and pineapple.
- Orange and lime.
- Apricot, raspberry, and mint.
- Strawberry, lemon, and mint.
- Apple, lemon, and carrot.
- Staying hydrated is important, and it can also be fun.