We all know that being properly hydrated is important. What most people do NOT know is how to get properly hydrated. It turns out that there’s a bit more to it than just pounding water a few times a day…
Proper hydration is essential for optimal body function. Unfortunately, as it is with proper nutrition, there are a lot of myths out there about what it means to be properly hydrated. Here are ten rules that, if followed, will lead to optimal hydration over time.
- Drink ½ oz. of water daily for every pound you weigh. A 150 lb. person would drink 75 oz., or approximately 2.5 quarts, daily.
- Drink 2-6 oz. of water every 20-30 minutes for optimal hydration. Don’t wait until you are thirsty – thirst means you are already becoming dehydrated.
- Avoid diuretic beverages that flush water out of the body, such as coffee, tea (especially black), soda pop, other caffeinated beverages, alcohol or beer. If you do drink these beverages, you must drink an additional 8 oz. of water for every glass of diuretic beverages; this is in addition to the ½ oz. for every pound of body weight you are already drinking.
- Drink more water along with fresh vegetable/fruit juices to maintain hydration during illness and upon recovery. Illness increases your metabolism and water need.
- Start your day with ½ quart of water to flush your digestive system and get things moving after your overnight ‘fast’.
- Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you and keep one in your car and on your desk. Convenience helps you remember to drink. Stuff a water bottle in your shoulder bag or briefcase. Hiking suppliers have a nice selection of water-bearing belt packs and accessories if they would be helpful.
- Make a habit of drinking water. Use post-it notes or other reminders to help you remember to DRINK. Take water breaks instead of coffee breaks. Take sips of water throughout the day. Gauge your water consumption by the number of water bottles you drink during the day. Make drinking water a regular part of your daily routine.
- Increase your water consumption when you increase your mental activity level, your stress level and/or your exercise level, in hot weather, higher altitudes, and high or low humidity to replace additional fluid lost and/or to satisfy an increased need for water.
- Drink the purest water available. The best would be distilled or reverse osmosis. Next, would be filtered, bottled water and bottled spring water. Tap water would be last.
- Exercise to the point of perspiration or enjoy a steam bath daily. Sweat cleans the lymphatic system and the bloodstream. It is one of the best detoxification avenues available to us. Sweat, and drink plenty of water before and afterwards to replace the loss of fluids.