Drinking enough fluids is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heat illnesses. Water is generally sufficient for hydration. As the weather gets warmer, try and increase your intake and drink water and healthy fluids gradually throughout the day.
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED?
For the body to function properly, you must replenish its water. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to our cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, making it hard for your body to carry out normal functions and even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume a little more than 8 cups of water or other beverages a day along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
One approach to water intake is the 8×8 rule. Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The rule could also be stated, “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.” As all fluids count toward the daily total.
Though the approach isn’t supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
If you drink enough fluid that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 6.3 cups or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine per day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.
WATER IS A NATURAL APPETITE SUPPRESSANT
Do not underestimate the power of this statement. Lack of water can lead to over-eating. Your brain does not differentiate between hunger and thirst. So, when you think you are feeling hungry, your body may in fact be signaling to you that you are thirsty!
WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR WATER NEEDS?
You may need to modify your fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast feeding. If you engage in an activity that makes you sweat, you need extra water. 1.5 to 2.5 cups should suffice, but exercise lasting more than an hour requires more fluid intake.
For intense exercise, use a drink that contains sodium to replace what’s lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life threatening. Also, continue to replace your fluids after exercising. Hot climates or humid weather can make you sweat more and requires additional fluid intake. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture.
Signs of illnesses, such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, cause your body to lose additional fluids. You should drink more water and you may need oral rehydration solutions. Also, you may need increased fluids if you develop certain conditions like bladder infections or urinary track stones. (It’s always recommended that you consult your physician first).
It’s not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide for when to drink. By the time you become thirsty, it’s possible to already be slightly dehydrated. As you get older your body is less able to sense dehydration and send our brain signals of thirst.
To ward off dehydration make water your beverage of choice. Consider the following:
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals
- Hydrate before during and after exercise
- Substitute sparking water for alcoholic drinks at social gatherings
- If you drink water from a bottle, thoroughly clean or replace the bottle often.
Excessive thirst and urination can be signs of a serious medical condition. If you’re concerned, check with your physician or a registered dietitian.
Make water a part of your daily routine. And, if you want to add flavor, we got you covered. Ask your weight counselor about HealthWise Fruit Drinks and other high protein mixes.
Download our Brochure The Importance of Water Here: Water Brochure
Source: HealthWise The Importance of Water Brochure; www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/userfiles/pdfs/2017-126.pdf ; https://www.thirstywork.com/blog/how-to-keep-yourself-hydrated-as-the-weather-gets-warmer