By Asha Lujan (Guest Writer)
Our planet is 70% water. Our bodies are 50-60% water. You can’t refute that water is important. So, are you drinking water?
Everyone thinks that they are getting enough water. But, how much water is enough? 8 glasses of water a day, right? Well that really depends on several factors. How active are you? Are you drinking diuretic drinks? How much do you weigh?
Water is very important for many of your body functions. It lubricates joints, removes wastes, flushes toxins, cushions joints and bones, moistens oxygen for easier breathing, regulates body temperature, and empowers the body’s natural healing process. Most of the cells in your body and your body fluids are water.
The body can produce some water through it’s normal processes about 8%. But, the other 92% of water must be ingested through the foods we eat (fruits and vegetables) and drink.
Being active, exercise and sports can be very dehydrating. If you sweat, you are losing water and electrolytes. Lots of people drink sports drinks to rehydrate after exercise and playing sports but, just like coffee, tea, juice, and soda, sports drinks can also be a diuretic. Diuretics make you lose water in the form of urine.
They can be helpful but, there is a bunch of sugar in them (which is a diuretic) dextrose (which is another form of sugar), and brominated vegetable oil which is synthetic chemical that was first used as a flame retardant. It’s not a diuretic but, yuck!. You are losing water just as you are trying to rehydrate.
So how much water is enough? That depends on your weight. A larger person will need more water than a smaller person. Makes sense, right? An easy equation for figuring out how much water you should be drinking is your body weight divided by 2. The answer is the number of ounces you should be drinking. For example: 200 pounds divided by 2 equals 100.
Therefore, a 200 pound person should be drinking 100 ounces of water per day, pretty simple. But, if you are drinking diuretic drinks you need to replenish your water stores too. For every 8 oz., of diuretic drinks you should replace it with 12-16 oz. of of water. A venti coffee is 20 oz. You would need to drink half your body weight oz. plus 30-40 additional oz. to be optimally hydrated. That’s a lot of water!
That water should also have electrolytes. Electrolytes are: “Salts and minerals that can conduct electrical impulses in the body. Common human electrolytes are sodium chloride, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonate. Electrolytes control the fluid balance of the body and are important in muscle contraction, energy generation, and almost every major biochemical reaction in the body. (medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Electrolytes)
Electrolytes help your body hold on to water. Just drinking lots of water without electrolytes washes away the electrolytes your body already has. Once again you will be dehydrating yourself while trying to hydrate. How do you get electrolytes in your water? Again, there is a simple solution.
You can purchase an electrolyte solution or add a pinch of sea salt. You could also add a squeeze of lemon with the sea salt to add potassium and calcium which are in electrolyte solutions.
For those of you who don’t like water you can infuse your water with some cut fruit or cucumber slices. Fresh and delicious. Happy hydrating!