Drink To Your Health

Staying Hydrated is Especially Important This Time of Year

Glass of waterAs you’re out-and-about doing those things you love to do this time of year, make sure you’re hydrating yourself by drinking enough fluids.The question is, though, just how much is ‘enough’ to satisfy your physiological needs?

Although It was once a general rule-of-thumb that we needed to drink 64 ounces (or more) of water each day, with new research findings, we now know that there is no valid scientific basis to do so. I guess you could say these old studies just don’t hold water anymore 😉 However, and this is a huge “however”, drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration is critical. We need to replace the water that is lost each day in urine, sweat, breathing, and other bodily functions. Keep in mind, water losses are greater in warmer climates, during strenuous exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults. For most people, these losses can be covered by drinking about 48 ounces of fluid per day which is the amount Weight Watchers suggests as a guideline for good health.

“The more you exercise, the more fluid you’ll need to keep your body hydrated. An extra 1 or 2 cups of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example running a marathon) requires additional fluid,” reports the Mayo Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic explains it this way: “Consider this: Your lungs expel between two and four cups of water each day through normal breathing. If your feet sweat, there goes another cup of water. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, that’s six cups of water. If you perspire, you expel about two cups of water (which doesn’t include exercise-induced perspiration).

Taking in less water than your body uses can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is caused when your body loses water content and essential body salts such as sodium, potassium, calcium bicarbonate and phosphate. It’s a very serious condition. Even mild dehydration– as little as a 1 percent to 2 percent loss of your body weight – can sap your energy and make you tired.

Make drinking enough water or other liquid a part of your daily routine.  Overestimate if you’re unsure, rather than underestimate.And when you go outdoors in warmer weather, make sure you take a mugful of cold water with you. Sip on it in the car, at work, while shopping, playing and exercising—wherever, whenever! It’s like what the credit company says about its charge card—don’t leave home without it!

If you’re bored with plain H2O, here are some fun, really easy ways you can spritz it up:

  • Fruit: Pucker up by adding a dash of lemon or lime juice to your water. Another refreshing idea is to cut up pieces of lime, strawberries, watermelon and lemon and freeze them. Add the frozen fruit chunks into your mug in place, or in addition to, ice cubes. Add a little sugar-free sweetener, if you prefer.
  • Herb: Throw in a sprig of fresh mint or lemon verbena to your mug of cold water.
  • Spice: Making spiced water is a cinch. In a large pitcher add a cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cumin seeds, 1 Tbs. of fennel seeds and a pea size piece of fresh ginger. Pour hot water over the spices and lit them steep for half an hour. Fill the pitcher with cold water. Refrigerate. Fill your water mug directly from pitcher.
  • Vanilla Add a drop or two of vanilla extract to your water.
  • Mix-Ins: Stir in a packet of powdered, mix-ins made specifically to liven up the taste of plain water, yet contains little, or no calories.