Does the common recommendation of drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day sound familiar? Well it is, because that is what people are told because it generally applies as a rule to most people’s needs. However, the temperature outside, exercise routines and circumstances like pregnancy affect and change the recommendation. The guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that one divide his or her weight by 2 and add 12 oz. water for every 30 minutes of exercise done.
Is the amount of water one drinks each day really important? The answer is yes!
The human body is made up of a large percentage of water and water plays a role in all-important bodily functions. Some of these functions are regulating body temperature, circulating oxygen throughout the bloodstream and aiding in digestion. Water is very important to make the human digestive tract work properly. It forms a gel with fiber in the digestive tract and helps food to move smoothly through the system and also helps to eliminate waste products from the body. Staying hydrated can also help with maintaining healthy, glowing skin, managing joint pain and it also helps with weight management.
Often people have headaches, feel shaky or tired and mistake these cues for hunger pangs. Grabbing something to eat will make you gain weight but not take away those feelings if they were really signs of dehydration, as opposed to hunger.
Approximately 1/5 of the recommended amount of water can come from food. Fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, celery, watermelon and even strawberries are all mostly comprised of water.
For strenuous physical activity, it is important to hydrate before, during and after exercise. It is important to avoid getting dehydrated. If you feel really thirsty you are probably already dehydrated and should hydrate not only with water but also by consuming electrolytes.
So how do you remain hydrated and avoid dehydration? Here are some tips.
- Carry a full water bottle with you at all times.
- Drink water before meals.
- Eat hydrating fruits and veggies as snacks throughout the day.
- Have 1 glass of water for every other type of beverage you drink during the day.
- Infuse water with natural flavors for taste!
Jamie Feit, MS, RD received her bachelor of business administration degree from The George Washington University and her Master of Science degree from New York University. Before starting Jamie Feit Nutrition, LLC Jamie was a wellness educator for 1199 Union Benefits program, an independent nutrition consultant, and held various positions at Mount Sinai Medical Center; including nutrition supervisor of the diabetes center research coordinator ands clinical nutritionist in the Division of Endocrinology. Jamie is also a pampered chef consultant because she loves to cook, entertain and serve healthy kosher food. She uses pampered chef products to teach families how to make nutritious healthy food quickly.