Hydration Challenge – How Much Hydration is Enough?
The Hydration Challenge is here and we’re kicking off by working out how much water you should really be drinking.We’re often told that we should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day but how much you really need can vary from person to person.
Some of the big factors that can affect your water needs include, how warm it is and how active you are. If you’re pretty active, you’ll need to take more liquid on board compared to someone who has a more sedentary lifestyle as you’ll be sweating more. Don’t forget to drink before and after your workout as well as during it but make sure to take in liquids steadily rather than trying to drink everything you need in one go at the end of your workout. Likewise, when it’s hot, especially as you’re likely to sweat more and will need to replace the liquid you lose.
Your health can also play a part. If you’re experiencing any vomiting, diarrhea or fever, be sure to drink more as you’ll be losing liquids and can easily become dehydrated.
A lot of people don’t actually manage to drink 6-8 glasses of liquids per day and assume that they’ll be okay anyway, especially if you’re not overly thirsty. What isn’t always obvious is the fact that thirst actually indicates that you’ve already started to become dehydrated so you don’t want to wait until you get to this point before you start thinking about your hydration. It’s the same with headache- if you’ve already started to feel like this, chances are you’re also already dehydrated. The trick is to drink throughout the day so that you don’t get to the point of feeling the effects of dehydration.
Whether your usual water habits are enough, it can be different from person to person, but an easy way to tell if you’re getting the right balance involves looking at the color of your urine. (This is how I keep track of my water needs).
Ideally, you want it to be straw colored. if it’s much darker than this, it’s a sign you’re not drinking enough or that you’re dehydrated, especially if you’re also not going to the bathroom that much. On the other hand, if your urine is totally clear and you’re going to the bathroom a lot, it’s probably an indication that you might be drinking a bit too much. Aiming for straw colored urine usually gives you happy medium between the two. If you’ve never had a good look at the color of your urine before, you might be surprised to see that it’s telling you to drink more!
Your task for today is to get a handle on how hydrated you are and see how that stacks up against how much you should be drinking. You may find that you actually need to drink more than you think to be well hydrated and some people need more than the 6-8 glasses you’ll often see recommended, especially if you’re active or in a warm climate. Let your body be the guide and tell you whether you’re getting it right or not. Take notes on how you begin to feel and look and notice the difference once you’re hydrated, such as better skin, less headaches, more energy, better bowel movements, etc.
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