Do you really need 8 glasses of water?

You can lead a horse to water…

But you can’t make them drink. The same is true of people. You can tell them that they need to drinkĀ  64oz of water a day, that doesn’t mean they will.

I know this is the biggest thing that I struggle with in becoming a healthier person. Drinking my daily amount of water. I know some people who drink over a gallon of water each day and I cannot for the life of me figure out how they do it. I have to force myself to drink the amount of water I am drinking and I still struggle to hit the 1/2 gallon mark.

Do we really need 64oz of water?

No: What? No? We don’t need 64oz of water a day? How could this be? Is everyone wrong? Well the simple answer is it is an urban legend. The amount of water that a person needs is dependent on their output. How frequently they urinate, how much they sweat and how many watery fruits and vegetables they eat. While one person may need less than the 8, 8oz cups of water most need more.

Athletes have special requirements, and so do people who exercise frequently, the same is true of people who live in especially hot climates. If a person is going to be participating in sporting events or exercise a good rule of thumb is to use weight to determine how much water has been lost. According to the University of Minnesota the amount of weight lost in pounds multiplied by 16 is the amount of fluid lost and should be the amount of fluid consumed to replace the liquids. So if after an hour of interval training I have lost 2 pounds I need to consume 32 oz of water. This is true if one doesn’t drink water during the event. University of Nebraska recommends no more than 1 cup of water every 20 minutes during a sporting event because that is all the body can absorb. If you replenish the water as you go it is much less daunting. I usually drink 1-2 liters of water during an hour of hard exercise.

So how do I tell if I am dehydrated?

The best way to tell the hydration level without getting to technical is by looking at ones urine. Yep look at your pee. The color of our pee tells us whether or not we are drinking enough water. If pee is a light yellow to clear then dehydration is probably not an issue. The darker the urine the more likely dehydration is present. Now the only time this could be wrong is if there are supplements or other vitamins being taken. Things like vitamin B can alter the color of urine. So if you are taking supplements or medication read the labels and make sure that they don’t alter the color of your urine before you rush off to the ER.

Why do I need water?

Every cell in your body uses water to function. Making sure you are hydrated is going to ensure that the body is functioning properly. It prevents dehydration, fluid retention and helps ensure that the cells are better oxygenated. All of these things have long lasting bevefits, because lets face it sever dehydration can lead to death, chronic dehydration isn’t much better

Proper hydration can also cause you to eat less. A lot of people mistake thirst for hunger. So arm yourself against the nasty dehydration cravings and drink your fluids. I drink a full cup before each meal just to make sure what I am feeling is hunger and not thirst.s functioning properly. It prevents dehydration, fluid retention and helps ensure that the cells are better oxygenated. All ofthese things have long lasting health benefits, because lets face it severe dehydration can lead to death, chronic dehydration isn’t much better.

Go be active, and remember to stay hydrated!

 

 

In Health and Fitness,

Travis Merritt

 

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