Dehydration not only affects physical performance, but also overall health and well-being , that's why you need to understand the basics of hydration. It’s important to look at hydration differently when sedentary versus when exercising because our bodies respond to outside factors like heat differently during these times. Learning the basic recommendations for hydration and how to monitor your thirst is important to avoid dehydration and feel better on a daily basis.
Get to know how hydration works
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a total daily water intake of 3.7 liters (15 cups) for the average adult male and 2.7 liters (11 cups) for the average adult female. However, water needs will vary depending on age, gender, geographic location, activity level and temperature. Since there isn’t one exact number for everyone, most people can monitor hydration levels simply through thirst. This means drinking water consistently throughout the day, starting immediately upon waking up. It is important to mention that the body does not make water, so it must be replenished throughout the day for the body to run efficiently and for overall health. You should also keep in mind that hydration can come from other sources, such as tea , coffee, and from fruits and vegetables.
Take plenty of liquids during sedentary activities
As you are going through the day, keep track of how much liquids you are drinking, doesn't matter if you are sitting at your desk or working out. Most people can measure their hydration levels through thirst and urination. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if you’re feeling thirsty, it’s possible you’re already dehydrated. If you're properly hydrated, you should be using the bathroom every two to three hours. The color should always be pale yellow. If it is darker or you are going less frequently, you may be dehydrated without you even knowing it.
Keep hydrated during workouts or physical activities
If you’re exercising, your hydration routine will be much different than a sedentary routine. It’s important to start exercising hydrated, so drinking water regularly is still just as important as hydrating during your workout. Hydrate before, during and after exercise in order to avoid dehydration.
During intense physical activities that last more than 60 minutes, it’s important to add some sort of electrolyte supplementation to your hydration routine. When you sweat you lose sodium, which is needed for proper muscle contractions, that's why you need to add a beverage with a high amount of electrolytes.
What do you think?
Have you ever been dehydrated?
What do you do in order to provide to your body the right amount of water?