Hydration 101

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Water is the basis of life and the human body is between 65-75% of it, depending on the size of the body. Thus it is clear that water is very important to a healthy body. Most people know of its importance and have easy access to a water source yet very few actually consume enough water on a daily basis.

The Right Formula

For some unknown reason drinking 8 glasses of water is the universal recommendation of water consumption, but how big is a glass? And how can this advice apply to a 250lbs man and a 125lbs woman?

The basic formula of water consumption is very simple; take your weight and divide by two and that will give you the optimal number of ounces that you should consume in a day.

Example: 200lbs/2= 100 ounces 

DRINKING HABITS

It doesn’t do your body much good to consume all of your daily recommended water at once. If you didn’t drink much water throughout the day you can’t just sit down and drink two liters and expect the same results. The body requires a consistent supply of water much like it does with food. Here are some drinking habits that will help you get enough water at the right times, alter the size of each serving to get your appropriate daily total.

  • Have a large glass of water first thing in the morning
  • Have a glass of water with each meal and snack
  • Have a glass of water before you go to bed
  • Keep a large bottle of water at your work station – your goal would be to drink the entire bottle by the end of your work day.

Caffeine

This is the most widely used drug in the world as it temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired. When consumed in moderation caffeine can give us a little energy boost and has been shown to increase our metabolism. However there are some draw backs to this powerful little substance. The main fault being that it is diuretic, meaning that it dehydrates your body. Therefore it is a good idea to consume an extra glass of water along with your coffee or any other drink that contains caffeine such as pop or any type of energy drink.

Pop and Juices

You should always avoid these drinks due to their high sugar content. Consuming a couple of these types of drinks will increase you daily caloric intake in a hurry with very little nutritional value especially in pop. Even though fruit juices may provide vitamins and minerals the sugar that accompanies them is not worth it, if you want the taste and the benefits from fruit eat a piece as opposed to drinking it. If you really can’t live without juice try diluting it half-and-half with water. Your taste-buds will adapt to the slightly weaker taste in no time. Drinking diet pop is a much better option than regular pop but it is still not a great choice depending on what is used to sweeten it; anything that uses Splenda is a better option than those that use Aspartame.

Good Beverage Choices

  • Water
  • Carbonated Water
  • Tomato Juice
  • Propel
  • Green Tea
  • Diet Soda with Splenda

Booze

This is a case where you need to make better choices, alcohol does not provide our bodies with any positive effects so it can be said the best option would be to avoid it altogether but we know that this is not going to happen so we need to pick the lesser of two evils.

Beer Drinkers

Beers that are produced locally do not contain as many preservative as those that are produced overseas. Light beers contain fewer calories which make them a better option especially when consumed in high quantities; the extra calories in darker beers can really add up when you multiply them by 8, 10 or 12.

Wine

When consumed in moderation, wine has been shown to provide health benefits, the better choices here are Red Wines (Merlot and Pinot Noirs in particular) due to the darker grapes that are used which contain more antioxidants than White Wines.

Liquor

The best options here are the clearer alcohols; vodka, light rum and gin are going to be easier on your body than dark rums and whiskey. Another consideration with liquor is the “mix”. In order to keep the calorie content down, choose diet pops, soda water or just water. These choices will be better than going with regular pop or fruit juices.

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Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Author and Media Fitness Expert with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Has served over 50,000 sessions from one-on-one, semi-private to large group BootCamp classes. Nationally and locally awarded Fitness expert on both ABC & CBS. Most recently developer of a new interactive Wellness and Lifestyle program for small to medium sized companies (Offshore and Onshore).

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