By Kristin Burgess, Club Greenwood RD and Personal Trainer
Is Water Consumption That Important?
We are constantly hearing about how drinking water is vital to our health. But why? Drinking enough water is crucial to regulate body temperature, prevent infections, keep joints lubricated and most importantly, to deliver nutrients to cells while keeping organs functioning properly. Being well hydrated on a consistent basis also improves mood, mental health and sleep quality. If you are looking to lose weight, proper hydration is vital. Adequate, consistent, water will allow your body’s metabolic pathways to run efficiently.
Water makes up about 60% of our body’s total weight.
You can go roughly three months without food, but severe dehydration will kill you within about three days. When you are dehydrated that means more water is moving out of your cells, than into your cells. When this occurs, other nutrients leave our cells as well. Electrolytes and minerals, which are critical to cell function, are being lost along with the water.
What is the best way to stay hydrated?
Plain water can’t be beat. However, many Americans don’t like the taste of plain water. We are conditioned to expect high levels of sweetness when we drink. Soda, juice and other sugar-sweetened drinks condition us to desire only sweet liquids. Feel free to add frozen fruits or vegetables to add healthy flavor to your water. Unsweetened (and free of artificial sweeteners) tea also counts toward your water goal.
The National Academies of Medicine recommend at least 11 cups of water for women and at least 16 cups for men. That equates to about three liters for women and almost four liters for men.
That sounds like a lot, but here are a few tips to make sure you achieve this goal on a consistent basis:
- Begin every day with at least 16 ounces
- By the end of breakfast, finish 32 ounces (your first liter)
- Always drink from a reusable, measurable, larger bottle. I recommend at least 32 ounces, so that you only have to drink three to four bottles per day versus 11 or 16 cups
- Drink at least ten ounces every time you drink. We often sip on water, which doesn’t equate to much, making it seem like we are always drinking water, but in reality we are not.
- Finish your water goal by 5:00pm daily
Registered Dietitian/Personal Trainer
Being a registered dietitian and health and wellness coach, Kristin believes you are what you eat! Eating whole, natural foods can not only increase energy and help you be at an ideal weight, but it can boost your mindfulness in every aspect of your life. After all, we walk around in our body all day…it must be a priority to take care of it! Running and triathlons have taken Kristin everywhere from Boston to Boulder. Kristin believes everyone has an “athlete” in them… after all, exercise makes the heart smile!
BS in Nutrition, Applied Physiology and Exercise Physiology
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CES