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Are you an emotional eater?

Are you drinking enough water?

Posted 5/17/2019

Most people don’t know how much water they should be consuming during the course of their day. Or perhaps they think that they are still taking in enough fluids because they drink coffee or sports drinks. Well, I am here to tell you why drinking the correct amount of clean, plain water is so important in our diets. Coffee, as one example, contains caffeine which will dehydrate our bodies. Most sports drinks contain high levels of sugars. Both of these examples are not the best option when it comes down to the health and hydration of our bodies. While the use of sports drinks could be consumed during times when you may lose electrolytes through sweat from heat or exercise, they should not be consumed during normal conditions.


Our body is composed of 60% water. While humans can survive for a period of time without food, we cannot last more than a couple of days without water. Water is important for a variety of reasons:

  • General hydration of our bodies; maintaining optimal levels of water for health
  • Temperature regulation (water is used to help cool us, i.e. sweating)
  • It acts as a lubricant (water is the primary component of saliva allowing us to swallow food)
  • It acts as a solvent by dissolving solutes in the blood.
  • Water also makes up the majority of the fluid in our cells and structures.

 


So how much does a person need? That is easily figured out by the following formula:

30 ml of water per kg of bodyweight

As an example, if you weighed 150 lbs (68 kg) then your water needs would be 30 mL x 68 kg = 2 L of water per day. This would be a baseline for daily water needs. Exercise and hot temperatures will change this value due to water lost through sweat.


A couple of tips when you are starting to consume more water on a daily basis…start slowly! If you only drink 500 mL of water per day, start by slowly adding in an additional 500 mL per day for the first week, then another 500 mL per day the second week and so forth until you reach your required level. Yes, you will pee a lot but once your body starts to become hydrated this will level off (Think about a plant you forgot to water. When the soil is very dry the water runs through. As the hydration level increases, it holds on to more water…our bodies act the same way).


Another good tip when trying to monitor you water intake. Use a refillable water bottle and see how much water it can hold. For example, if it holds 500 mL, then place 4 elastic bands on the neck. For each 500 mL you consume, roll one elastic down the bottle. This will show you how much you have already consumed as well as how much you need to drink that day.


So drink your water everyone!! Your body will thank you.