We all know we need to hydrate, but why is it so important? And how much water should we be drinking?
If you read our last post you know I suffer from migraines. They can be debilitating. One thing I know is that if I am hydrating properly, the number of migraines I have goes down considerably. But why? Water is a nutrient that is essential for our body to function properly. Researchers say that dehydration causes blood volume to drop, resulting in less blood and oxygen getting to the brain, and dilating blood vessels.
Every part of our body needs water to survive. Our bodies consist of about 65% water. Water increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, lubricates joints, helps with waste removal and maintaining body temperature along with many other purposes. We need an average of 64 – 80 ounces of water just to replace what we naturally lose each day.
The amount of water we need increases as we exert ourselves. Preparing in advance for heat or output is extremely important. Four hours before exercise, we should drink between 16 – 20 ounces and 3 – 8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise. Water and sports drinks work well.
One important thing to remember: Dehydration doesn't only happen when it is hot. It can occur in any temperature.
You need anywhere from 80 to 120 ounces of water each day depending on your level of activity, exertion and the weather. When I use a 16.9 fl. ounce plastic water bottle, I keep a sharpie nearby and put a dot on the lid each time I refill. If you are using a plastic or metal bottle for your water, figure how much you need and every time you refill put a rubber band around it. This helps you make sure you are getting what you need.
For some people, this may seem like a lot of water to be taking in. The benefits you will feel though when hydrating properly will amaze you. I notice that my skin isn't dry, I have fewer headaches, I feel more alert and healthier overall.
I want to end this post with a list of foods that can help you stay hydrated and their water content. I found this information very helpful.