Nutrition News

Hydrate Yourself!

Hydrate Yourself!
Natalie Butler, RD, LD

Hydration plays a role in overall health and even your weight(!) so it is crucial to drink enough everyday. Even mild dehydration can inhibit body processes, reduce your energy level, and make you think you need to eat more food (when all you need is just more water). Here are some of the roles water plays in our body and how to best incorporate it into your life.

Water’s Function in the Body
Water is an essential nutrient – along with protein, carbs and fat. You HAVE to consume it daily (as well as all other animals and plants) otherwise you will not live long. After only 5-7 days without it, you are a goner.

  • Water transports nutrients to our cells via our bloodstream because our blood is about 83% water.
  • Water lubricates our joints and makes movement smooth.
  • We use water to digest our food and maintain our energy levels.
  • Water is vital to maintain electrolyte balance which keeps our nervous system running efficiently.

 

Tips To Drink More
Keep a refillable water bottle at your desk and drink 1 full bottle before lunch, one full bottle after. Or if it’s a very large water bottle, aim to drink half by lunch, the other half later. Always drink water with meals. Eating often makes you thirsty, so this is an easy time to drink more fluid.

Drink a glass of water right when you wake up.
Some of my clients report they have a hard time drinking enough plain water so if that’s you… add fresh lemon, lime juice or mint to flavor your water.

  • Make a pitcher of infused water (for example, soak strawberries and basil in water) to give it some flavor.
  • Water is also abundant in fruits, vegetables and the liquid in broth-based soups can also help hydrate you as well.

How Much is Enough?
Experts used to recommend 8, 8 ounce glasses a day but that has been disproven. Hydration can come from water but other fluids as well like unsweet tea, black coffee, juice, and broth. Depending on your health goals, some of these specific beverages shouldn’t be your first choice because of their caffeine levels, tannins, calories, etc. Water is always the best choice.

Current fluid recommendations are highly variable based on individual circumstances and are now anywhere from 4-10 cups per day. A good rule of thumb to assess your hydration level is if you are urinating often and your urine is pale yellow, you are well hydrated. Otherwise, drink more water.

Baby steps are ok. If you are only drinking 1 cup of water a day, make a goal of drinking 2 cups a day. If you are drinking 1, 20 oz. bottle, add 1 more bottle in your day. The good news is that the more water you drink, the more you will crave that amount of water (and you will feel dehydrated when you don’t drink enough). So it does get easier to stay hydrated as time goes on. Yay!

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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