Between all the ‘nog, cider and peppermint mochas, there’s a lot of liquid consumed over the holidays, but what about that good old H20? While there is no exact rule, it is recommended you consume 8, 8-ounce glasses of water every day (this can also depend on your weight and range of physical activity).
However, the average human only drinks about 2.5 cups per day. And while we have improved as a nation over the years, (soda was once the number one consumer beverage) 2.5 cups is not enough considering most of our body is made up of water.
Without proper water intake, our bodies succumb to dehydration. Dehydration is a serious health matter that can range from mild to severe, and occurs when you are losing more fluid than you are consuming. Those performing high-intensity activities are more susceptible, with side effects including muscle cramps, vomiting, dizziness and even loss of consciousness.
Besides keeping you alive, water also offers a number of benefits, including:
- Clarity: Being dehydrated can affect your brain’s effectiveness, causing lack of clarity, and even mood swings.
- Weight Loss: A lot of times we will think we are hungry, when it really is just a misread of your body telling you that you are thirsty. If you feel hunger coming on, drink a full class of water and wait five minutes. That will tell you if you were craving food or water.
- Headache Prevention: When your body is dehydrated, it can often result in painful headaches. When you feel head pain, instead of reaching for the Aspirin, turn to water first instead.
- Boost Your Workout: Staying hydrated can actually help you sustain physical activity for longer amounts of time, so you can get the best out of your workout.
Many athletes turn to sports drinks as they provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time. While we do not discourage these supplements, it’s important to be mindful that many sports drinks can be laden in sugar and caffeine, which lead to dehydration. Be sure to read the labels and choose sports drinks low in both sugar and caffeine.
Overall, hydration is good for your skin, health and physical performance in the gym, so what should you be doing to drink more of it? Here are a few simple tips:
- Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day.
- Eat your water. Many fruits are full of water and offer a great hydration alternative.
- Infuse your water. Make it a little more interesting with raspberry, mint, cucumber or other flavors.
- Drink a full cup before each meal.
- Use an app to log how much you are drinking.
- Choose sparkling waters overs sodas and juices.
If you have any other health questions our knowledgeable staff is happy to assist. And be sure to keep an eye out for pop-up nutrition classes at The Alaska Club.