We all know that one of the biggest challenges in both beauty and fitness is staying hydrated. Water is the most important resource in our bodies, as it acts as the essential transportation system throughout the body. It carries everything any of our organs need, helps in the processing of food, transmission of oxygen, and a host of other functions.
In terms of health and beauty, hydration affects a great deal. It impacts your organ function, your skin, and can even affect your sleep. Hydrated bodies operate at their best, and as such, it’s essential to maintain the proper fluid levels throughout the day.
For athletic performance, hydration is the key to success. It doesn’t matter if you’re training for that mud run, trying to bulk up for a competition, or trying to keep your body fit and trim, water is key to achieving your goals. It allows you to stay focused and keeps you going as your body heats up. Your sweat is one of the key factors to maintaining your proper body temperature, and dehydration can cause a host of health problems.
The Threat of Dehydration
There’s a lot that can happen if you fail to properly keep your system hydrated. On the extreme side, you can actually die from lack of water. Whereas our bodies can survive in emergency situations for weeks without food, we cannot live more than a few days without water — it’s just that essential to proper functioning.
Furthermore, you can run into some pretty uncomfortable stuff with dehydration. It can cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, dizziness, dry and cracked skin, dry mouth, poor skin elasticity, and even seizures. As you can tell, it’s pretty important to make sure that you get all of the water your body needs throughout the day. But that raises another great question — how much water is enough?
Amount of Water
In addition to losing water through perspiration, we also lose water through breathing, urine and bowel movements, and other secretions from the body. We also gain water from food, the amount varying based on diet.
However, there’s only one surefire way to make sure that you’ve hit what the Mayo Clinic recommends in terms of basic allotment of water per day. They recommend, including food, 15.5 cups of water per day for men, and 11.5 cups of water for women. Keep in mind that this is a general guideline, and based on your own situation, might increase or decrease.
Being that we’re hitting the summer months, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you get all of the hydration your body needs.
How to Hydrate
It can be difficult to stay motivated sometimes to drink enough water. It can be helpful to remind yourself of how good it feels when your body is properly hydrated. Also remember that hydration doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a delayed reaction in the body as your organs have to process the water it receives and filter it into the proper places.
As such, keep this in mind when preparing for extra rigorous activities and/or on days where you know there’s going to be extreme heat. You want to make sure you’ve begun hydrating a minimum of two hours prior to any sort of physical event.
Now let’s get into fun ways to get all of the water you need!
1. Make it a game.
Everything is more fun when it’s a game. So, try keeping your tally throughout the day at your desk. Try to sneak in 80% of your hydration while you’re at work. This is a great way to keep focused and improve your sense of balance and well-being.
2. Get a large enough container for the whole day.
It can be a difficult challenge to get in all of your necessary water — especially when you have so many other temptations from other liquid sources. So what can you do to try and make it happen? Try getting a container that holds exactly the amount of water your body needs throughout the day. This is a great way to make it a more visual event. For some people, that makes all the difference in the world!
3. Time your intervals for drinking.
If you know that you need about 92 fluid ounces of water, then get a cup that’s 20 fluid ounces and drink one every two hours of your workday. Whereas this only adds up to 80 fluid ounces of water consumed, don’t forget that you’re also getting about 20% of your water needs from food. So get yourself 80% there and the food you eat should push you across the finish line.
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