Don’t go out without your water bottle
In the summer, many of us don’t head outdoors without our sunscreen.
But what about water? About 60 percent of our bodies is made up of H2O, which performs such essential tasks as cushioning our joints, flushing waste and transporting protein, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and oxygen to cells.
Keeping hydrated is especially important in warmer months, when we perspire more. In fact, the average person has 2.6 million sweat glands, which is why we are soaked with perspiration after a rigorous workout.
But you shouldn’t wait until after your workout to drink water. You should drink before you feel thirsty, because exercise blunts the mechanism that conveys thirst to our brains. And if you sweat profusely, consider a sports drink that will replenish the electrolytes you lost through perspiration.
Most folks don’t need sports drinks to stay hydrated. Water will do just fine. And you don’t have to buy expensive bottled water. Carry a reusable water bottle with you on your walk, or take it to the fitness center.
We have all heard that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But calculating how much water we need is an inexact science, because we also get water from foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
The Institute of Medicine says men should drink about 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) of water a day. The recommendation for women is 2.2 liters (about nine cups) a day. Also keep in mind that some fluids can contribute to dehydration, including alcohol, coffee, tea and other drinks that contain caffeine.
Substituting water for soda yields healthy dividends. Consider that drinking water three times a week instead of a sugary beverage will eliminate 6,084 grams of sugar from your diet over the course of one year, according to the American Journal of Public Health. That’s 24,336 calories.
How can you tell if you are drinking enough water? The color of your urine will tell you. If you are properly hydrated, your urine will be clear or light in color. Dark yellow or amber urine is a sign of dehydration.