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The Importance of Hydration

I know you have heard it all before, “make sure you drink a lot of water”.  But seriously, it’s important! We are 60% water, our bodies need water to survive and we need to be well hydrated to function at our best. 

I used to be pretty bad at drinking water mostly because I love to drink coffee and other caffeinated drinks.  Not until I read how much water I was supposed to be drinking and made an effort to bump up my water intake, did I realize how much better I felt.  There are many formulas out there to figure out how much water you should be drinking based on your activity level and size but an easy rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces.  

Body weight/2 = ounces of water you should be drinking

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink around 75 ounces.  If you are highly active, increase this number.

Good ways to also assess how hydrated you are the color of your urine and if you’re thirsty.  Well-hydrated urine will be very light color or no color at all. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include fatigue, muscle aches, dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness. 

Here are some reasons to stay hydrated:

  1. Increase energy and productivity– staying hydrated helps prevent fatigue and helps with brain function.  

  1. Weight loss—reaching for water can help combat overeating because often when we feel hungry, it could just be that we’re thirsty.

  1. Physical performance—water helps maintain performance while exercising because you’re losing fluids.  Hydrating before, during and after exercise helps us to perform better and recover faster. 

  1. Stress levels—when our bodies are at their best, we feel our best.  Staying well-hydrated can help with your mood.

  1. Headaches—speaking from personal experience, dehydration is a major trigger for my migraines. Headaches can be caused by dehydration. 

When deciding to increase your water intake, first get a baseline of how much water you are currently drinking so that you can set a reasonable goal to increase.  It is also important to look at how much caffeine you’re drinking, caffeinated beverages are a mild diuretic which means they’re not hydrating you the way water does.  I like to add in flavored seltzer water when plain water is too boring. Adding fruit, citrus, cucumber or mint can also help water be more exciting. Try it out and see how you feel! 


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