An important part of a healthy diet and exercise program is staying hydrated. A few simple tips can help your body stay hydrated and healthy.Our bodies, including organs, are made up of about 70 % water. If it was all drained out we’d almost fit into an average sized washing machine. The average person loses at least 1.5 litres of water every day just functioning: saliva, joint fluid, digestion, circulation, excretion and temperature regulations – more is lost if exercising.

Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Once you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Try putting yourself on a “hydration schedule” to make it easier to remember to drink enough each day. Here’s how to determine the ideal water intake: divide your weight by two. For example, a 120-pound person should drink 60 ounces of water a day. This amount may need to be increased when spending time in the heat or while exercising. And, it is true that too much water can be dangerous too, but you’ll likely feel saturated before you even get to that point.

Most people are constantly dehydrated, but don’t realize it. With some exceptions, many drinks such as tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, beer, wine, spirits, etc. are all diuretic. This means they cause an increase in the passing of urine. When the body has dropped about 2% below its requirements, early symptoms show up. These symptoms include, dry mouth, thirst, tiredness, headaches and lack of the need to pee. Further dehydration of 5-6% loss, symptoms include, dry lips, flakey skin, yellow or dark coloured urine, grogginess and migraines.

If you are an athlete it is even more important for you to stay hydrated. If you are constantly dehydrated your performance will suffer and you will not be at your best. If you start a session dehydrated, you will finish dehydrated and deplete your energy storage more quickly. You want to sip water throughout the day. Make sure you are drinking enough before, during and after your exercise routine. Exercise produces water loss. This loss needs to be replaced in order to maintain a healthy balance while conducting exercise.

Tips to staying hydrated throughout the day:

  • Keep a bottle or glass of water always at easy reach.
  • Garnish your water with lemon, lime, cucumber slices.
  • Drink your water on a schedule, every couple of hours or so (more frequently when exercising).
  • Minimize your intake of caffeinated fluids as they tend to dehydrate.

Some added benefits to drinking water:

  • Boost your metabolism and helps with weight loss.
  • It regulates your body temperature and keeps you cool.
  • It helps maintain concentration.
  • Keeps your energy levels up.

Use these tips to stay hydrated throughout the day to help stay on track with your healthy lifestyle.

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