If you were to see me at the grocery store, a sporting event, or even church on a Sunday morning, then you would most definitely see me with a bottle in my hand. No, not THAT kind of bottle. A water bottle. Water is the make up of our human bodies, water is critical to survival and water aids in weight loss. Hydration is something most people should think about, regardless of their fitness level. With summer fast approaching, most of us will be losing more water than usual thanks to the process of sweating. Not only should we be hydrating in the effort to feed our body, but we need to replenish it, also.
Most of us learned at an early age (ahem, 2nd grade) that our bodies are made up of lots and lots of water. We were preached at to make sure we get eight glasses a day every day in order to “be healthy”. But is eight glasses (64 ounces) a day really enough? I found this website that allows you to enter personal information then gives you a suggested amount of water to consume per day. For me, it suggested 122 ounces per day. I’ve read on some blogs that you should aim for half the amount of your body weight in ounces each day. As a 232 pound female, that would put me at 116 ounces per day, only 6 ounces off of what the website recommended. For me personally, this goal is attainable. I almost always have some sort of reusable water bottle with me at all times.
When I was on vacation, I knew that being in the sun all day was grounds for possible dehydration so I made sure to bring a huge bottle with me and put the freezer ice bags in it so my water would stay cold all day out by the ocean. I usually drank the entire jug just while laying outside. I used to carry two separate bottles to class with me each day so I would not have to leave to refill them, although more often than not I had to leave anyway to use the bathroom.
Sometimes when I talk about hydration with people they get really turned off and say that they don’t like the boring taste of water or that diet drinks keep them more satisfied. Yes, water does tend to get a little boring sometimes but there are so many flavoring options. If you want to hydrate throughout the day after a tough morning workout you could pop some Nuun tablets in your water. I’ve seen some classmates put orange and cucumber slices in their water bottles to help give it a little kick. Grocery stores also have sugar and calorie free on the go packets like Crystal Light that would be easy to store in your purse, gym bag, or backpack for another hydration option.
In terms of weight loss, I believe that adequate water intake is extremely important. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can have adverse effects on weight loss efforts. If you are dehydrated then you are probably also more fatigued than usual which could prevent a workout or lead to sickness during a workout. A lot of people also mix up thirst and hunger. If you are craving something sweet or salty or “bad” then chances are you could just be thirsty and confused. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water then wait fifteen minutes. This has worked great for me especially since water is so filling. I crave less on days that I drink more and vice versa. Drinking a ton of water after a day of bad eating can also be beneficial since it increases urine output and decreases bloating. If I was to binge one night and drink my recommended water intake the next day, there is much less swelling in my fingers and bloat in my belly and face thanks to that water flushing the excess salt intake out.
One of my favorite forms of water is through my favorite fruit…watermelon! I have to always remind myself to eat watermelon sparingly due to the sugar levels, but it is always so filling of full of water. A lot of your daily water intake is through food, but it is still important to drink up and always have water on hand! I challenge you to visit that website to gauge how much water you should be drinking a day and even if you don’t feel like drinking that much, try to drink more than you are drinking now! Stay hydrated!
How do you stay hydrated? Do you carry around a water bottle? Is it harder to stay hydrated in the summer months?