Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight?
That’s right, approximately 60% of an adults body weight comes from water.
But wait! Don’t ditch it in an attempt to lose weight!
WE NEED WATER TO FUNCTION.
Every cell, tissue and organ in our body needs water. It regulates temperature, removes waste and lubricates our joints. Water helps our heart to pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and helps our muscles work efficiently. We lose water when using the bathroom, sweating, breathing and from sickness through vomiting and diarrhea.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I BE DRINKING?
Different people need different amounts, just like food. People who perspire more will need more water – but also those who don’t sweat may be at risk of already being dehydrated. Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need to drink more water. Once upon a time someone decided that 8 cups of water per day would keep the doctor away… whilst this was important just in the matter of getting people to drink water, there is a much better way of calculating to suit yourself as an individual.
Your weight in kilograms ÷ 0.024 = Amount of water you require in millilitres before any physical activity (x1000 to get litres)
Add 450mL for every 30 minutes of exercise.
EG 62kg Female who exercises for 1 hour every day
62kg ÷ 0.024 = 2583mL
+ 1 hour of exercise (450mL) = 3033mL
= ~3L per day
Your weight in pounds x 0.67 = Amount of water you require in ounces before any physical activity
Add 15 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
EG 150lbs Female who exercises for 1 hour every day
150lbs x 0.67 = 100.5fl oz
+ 1 hour of exercise (15fl oz)
= 115.5fl oz per day
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE WATER?
Coffee, tea, sport and energy drinks should be kept to a minimum. Caffeine is a diuretic when taken in amounts of more than 200-300mg per day – it’s also not great for our anxiety levels. Eating fruits and vegetables can help with hydration (watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce) and broths.
Avoid drinking ‘sports’ drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade if you’re only having a short workout. If you’re exercising for more than 90 minutes the carbohydrates and electrolytes will help to increase energy – perfect for a 10km run, but not so perfect for a 25 minute HIIT session. Two important things that you should check on the nutritional label are sodium (salt) and carb percentage. Sodium helps the body to regulate how much water a cell can hold. When sodium is low your cells take on too much water and swell which can be fatal. Rule out anything with a carb percentage of 7% or higher (juice, sodas) as a form of hydration as these stay in your stomach for longer. Opt for electrolyte tablets or make your own at home by blending watermelon, water, ice and a pinch of Himalayan salt (1:1 ration of watermelon:water) – this is roughly a 6-7% carb blend.
One of the easiest ways to tell if you are dehydrated is by looking at your urine. Sure, this may be gross to some, but it is crucial. Colourless or light yellow generally means you are hydrated, a dark yellow or amber colour is a red flag! Other signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, sleepiness or fatigue, extreme thirst, headaches, confusion, dizziness/lightheaded and no tears when crying. You are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated when exercising particularly in hot weather, if you are sick, pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to lose weight.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mental and physical performance drops when you’re 2% dehydrated.
5 TIPS TO STAY HYDRATED:
1. Always take a bottle wherever you go – helps to avoid buying coffees and other drinks, not only is it better for you it will also help save money
2. Add fruits or vegetables to your water to change the taste – our favourites include cucumber, berries or lemon/lime
3. Drink water before, during and after workouts – this will replenish as you go, aim for 500mL per workout
4. Think you’re hungry? Have a drink of water first. True hunger won’t be cured by water.
5. Avoid sugary drinks such as sports drinks, ‘energy’ drinks pre-bottled cold press coffee and alcohol as forms of hydration – this will help you avoid excess ‘empty’ calories.