Sunday, May 8, 2011

Do You Drink Enough Water?

I have never been a big water drinker. I usually only drink when I get thirsty or if a beverage is served with a meal. When I go out to eat with friends I notice their glasses are usually refilled multiple times during the meal but I seldom finish mine. Keeping myself properly hydrated is an area where I could improve.

I've seen a variety of sources which indicate that our bodies are composed of 55-75% water on a cellular level, so hydration is an important component of good health. The benefits of adequate water consumption include: better skin tone, improved body function, decreased urges to eat, decreased headaches, improved ability to excrete wastes and toxins, etc. I've seen conflicting data as to some of these claims, but I still think it is better to err on the side of more water than not enough, even though that makes me a hypocrite. We obviously can't survive without water, but too much water can also be fatal in the rare case of water intoxication.

Many people are curious to know exactly how much water they should drink. For years experts were telling us to drink 8-10 10 oz. glasses of water every day, but a 9 year old girl doesn't have the same water needs as a 200 pound man living in a warmer climate who is involved in manual labor. Climate, health conditions, body size, and activity level need to be taken into consideration when determining water needs, therefore, I'm reluctant to recommend a magic number for the entire population since every one's needs are different.

It's especially important to drink water if you are exercising or in a hot climate. Being dehydrated can cause fatigue, muscle cramping, disorientation, nausea, weakness, or even death. If you are thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. When you know you will be exercising or working hard it is always wise to drink before during and after your physical activity.

I'm adding the commitment of drinking more water than I have in the past as this weeks health commitment. If you don't think you've been drinking enough water then I invite you to join me.

2 comments:

Tony Van Helsing said...

I've started taking a litre bottle to work and drinking it even when I'm not thirsty. it does stop me snacking during the day.

Dave said...

I constantly drink water. Some of that is due to the fact that I really don't like any other beverages...no coffee, soda, or juice. People do get water from other sources as well, like fruit, so hydration doesn't necessarily have to be about having a specific number of glasses per day. It can't to try to stay hydrated...if nothing else it will keep you full and reduce your appetite which should help you lose weight.