• Joe Shea

Drink More Water

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

Are you drinking enough water each day? Likely, the answer is no and while there is no universally agreed upon amount, the simple fact is most of us could do better. Did you know our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water? Our blood is 90%! Water is essential for life (duh) but also makes sure our bodies are running optimally. Here are some benefits of H2O:

-boosts our skin health

-cushions the brain, spinal cord & other tissues

-regulates body temperature

-helps maintain blood pressure

-prevents kidney damage

-helps your bowel movements

-lubricates joints

-helps fight off fatigue

-maintains electrolyte balance

-aids in exercise performance

Did you know that a 2% decrease in water levels in our bodies can lead to a 20% decline in mental and physical performance? And at the point where you find yourself thirsty, you are already dehydrated. It is believed that a lack of water is often mistaken for hunger (and we end up overeating). So how exactly does hydration affect our exercise performance? Well, in many ways: When you workout, your body sweats to cool itself down which means you are losing water through perspiration. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, loss of coordination, exhaustion and an inability to regulate body temperature. Remember, just 2% loss of water can have negatively affect our performance by 20%.

Recommended guidelines? For exercise, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 17-20 ounces a few hours prior to exercise, another 8 ounces 20-30 minutes prior and 7-10 ounces for every 10-20 minutes you spend working out. Daily water intake should really be individualized so if you suspect a problem, consult your doctor. However, general rule of thumb for daily maintenance, the suggested values are 2.7 liters (11 cups) for females and 3.7 liters (15 cups) for males. Keep in mind, these values include the foods we eat. Also keep in mind, too much water can be dangerous to our health.

Don't overthink it. Drink a glass when you wake up, before meals, before bed and everywhere in between to stave off dehydration. Don't love water? Try adding fresh lemon or lime to your water to make it more enjoyable. Another option is to infuse your water which will give it additional benefits and endless possibilities.

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