Are you aware that you are supposed to drink water even before you feel thirsty? Unknown to many, thirst is actually a sign of dehydration, something which can cause a lot of harm to your body. Water makes up more than 70% of the human body. It is essential for muscles, to aid in maintaining body temperature, the digestive system, skin, and much more. By dehydrating your body, it could lead to negative effects such as impaired blood flow, mental fatigue, and reduced ability to transport nutrients and waste. For athletes and anyone who is physically active, dehydration can have impaired and limiting effects on performance. The question then becomes…how much water do I really need?
According to the 2004 Food and Nutritional board, 2.7 liters (91oz)/day for women and 3.7 liters (125oz)/day for men should be a target. However, these are only guidelines and can vary based on climate, individuals, and exercise levels. With an online tool, you can actually determine your general individualized hydration needs based on a basic survey. Additionally, it is also important to consider the sources and losses of water and fluids in the body. Water loss occurs through sweat, urination, and even breathing. Everyone has different sweat rates and it is important for everyone to maintain adequate hydration. For more physically active or individuals who have higher sweat rates, the daily water recommendations increase. But general hydration exercise guidelines can be followed by most individuals. In order to keep your body hydrated, the water source doesn’t always have to be pure drinking water. Water can also come from teas, juices, soups, and many fruits and vegetables. It is important to consider the sources in your overall diet. Whether you’re performing physical activity or not, dehydration is harmful to everyone. Water is essential for a balanced diet and to keep the body functional…so drink up!