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  • Daniel K, MSpCoach

How to Stay Hydrated During the Day and Why It’s Important


You probably already know that staying hydrated plays an integral role in our health and overall existence as human beings. Water makes up about 60% of the adult human body and is necessary to complete most of our body’s vital functions including those of your heart, brain and muscles. Unfortunately, even though most of us understand hydration affects every aspect of our health, still a significant amount of people fail to consume the recommended amount of water each day. So, what exactly are the benefits of staying well hydrated? Read on for all the details!


Benefits of Staying Hydrated


The benefits of drinking enough water stretch to virtually every system within your body. Water protects and hydrates our organs, carries and transports nutrients to our cells, and keeps muscles and joints working properly by balancing sodium and potassium levels. Water helps to flush the body of toxins, maintain its core temperature, and even balance blood sugar.


Beyond bodily functions, drinking enough water can even help you lose weight if that is a goal of yours. Drinking water before meals can help you feel full and lead to fewer calories eaten at each meal. Water also plays a role in helping us stay mentally focused and energized. It can boost our mood, memory and overall brain performance.


Finally, adequate hydration can help your skin look and feel better. Drinking enough water contributes to skin elasticity - meaning fewer wrinkles and fine lines, as well as decreasing puffiness and swelling due to dehydration. Since water helps remove toxins from the body, as mentioned above, drinking enough can also help clear and brighten your overall complexion.


So How Can You Stay Well-Hydrated Throughout the Day?


There are a variety of guidelines on how much water you should aim to drink per day, but a good one that works for most of us and is recommended by the Australian guidelines is to try and consume approximately 2.6L/day for men and 2.1L/day for women. This equates to roughly 10 cups for men and 8 cups for women. When you have a go-to reusable water bottle, you can go ahead and calculate your daily needs and divide it by how many litres are in your bottle to find out how many times you should be refilling your bottle daily.


Keep in mind that you might need to increase this amount if you participate in intense or prolonged exercise! You’ll need to hydrate before, during and after your workout. Think an additional 235-300mL per 30 minutes of exercise.


Tips for Drinking to Drink More Water


  • Carry your reusable water bottle with you at all times! Standing in line anywhere? Have some water. Waiting for the bus? Have some water. If the bottle is already in your hand, you’ll easily find more occasions to drink it.

  • Keep things interesting and add a little flavour to your water! You can try fresh cucumber, berries like strawberries and raspberries or lemon and other citrus fruits. Find something that your tastebuds will love!

  • If you find yourself forgetting to drink water during the day, you’re not alone. Try putting yourself on a water schedule to make it more effortless. This could look like a glass of water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed, or it could be some water at a certain time each hour. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it!

  • Drink water when you’re hungry. Many times we confuse thirst for hunger cues. The next time you’re feeling hunger pangs between meals, reach for a glass of water instead!

  • Eat your water! Some foods are a tasty and easy way of upping your water intake without reaching for your bottle: apples, rockmelon, watermelon, oranges, chicken noodle soup, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc!


Hopefully you all now understand that water is necessary for the functions of every system in your body and staying hydrated is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Drinking more water is arguably the easiest healthy habit you can start right now, to help your body function optimally, support its natural processes and reap the benefits!


DK

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