During the course of May, we looked at hydration. Why is hydration so important? Because it helps our bodies, which are composed of more than 60% water, perform optimally. Sufficient water is an important component of good health.
This What is Hydration? video on thevisualMD.com is great! It covers the various topics we looked at during the month.
May 1st – We asked “How much water should I drink?” Probably the oldest guideline is to drink eight 8-oz glasses (64 oz) of water daily. Whether this is Truth or Myth is up for debate. This video says men should consume 2.5-3.7 liters and women should consume 2-2.7 liters daily. This number changes depending on our age, health, activity level, and heat exposure.
May 8th – Given the uncertainty around how much is the right amount, we decided to ask “How do I know I’m drinking enough water?” While there are signs of dehydration that can help you know whether you are hydrated or not, we also learned that one sign on its own may not be sufficient. Get to know your body and use several of the dehydration symptoms together to assess your hydration level.
- The Thirst Cycle video on thevisualMD.com talks further about the amount of water we should be drinking, as well as how to tell if you are drinking enough water.
- Note: It is possible to drink too much water. While it is not nearly as common as dehydration, it is something to be aware of. Although, it most often impacts athletes, anyone is susceptible. This is called hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Check out this WebMD article – Can You Drink Too Much Water?
May 15th – You mean all liquids are not created equal? That depends who you ask. Our trusty video says caffeinated beverages help to replenish the body like water does. Awareness – know why you are drinking that beverage. Do you need the caffeine or are you simply enjoying the taste of the coffee or tea?
May 22nd – Yes, you eat some of your water, especially when your diet is high in fruits and vegetables! Our Hydration video says we may eat 20% of our water every day, which helps to supplement our water intake. While I personally don’t decrease the amount of water I drink simply because I ate some cucumber with my lunch, I feel good knowing I am getting additional hydration from that cucumber.
Again, one of the best things you can do is learn what is normal for your body and pay attention. When your body is not functioning as you expect it to, determine if insufficient water may be the cause.