Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

hydrate blog

We have all heard the importance of staying well hydrated, especially when we routinely work out and during the hot summer months. But you may be surprised that not many of us actually drink enough water.

I know, drinking water can feel boring. It can lead to more frequent bathroom trips, which may get disruptive. It can get monotonous and leave you wanting something with flavor. But the myriad benefits of drinking enough water—and doing so EVERY DAY—cannot be discounted.

What are the benefits of drinking water?

Did you know that our bodies are about 60% water? We are constantly losing water, so we must constantly keep replenishing it. If we become dehydrated, we may experience lethargy and encounter a whole host of health problems. Severe dehydration can lead to confusion, dizziness, or even seizures. But even if we are just slightly dehydrated we may feel “off,” lack energy, and even lose our focus.

So what’s so great about water? Let’s look at some of its amazing benefits:

  1. Water helps maintain our weight.

This may be for one of two reasons. First, sometimes our body is actually thirsty but we mistake this thirst for hunger, so we eat when we don’t really need to. This can lead to a calorie overload or even to us grabbing something unhealthy as a quick snack. Second, our bodies tend to hold onto water if they’re not getting enough. This can make us bloated. So before you grab a snack, drink a glass of water and reassess how you’re feeling.

  1. Water helps us stay focused.

According to Healthline, “Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.” So if you’re feeling distracted, grab a glass of water. It may just do the trick to get you back on track.

  1. Water increases our energy.

Even just a slight bit of dehydration can lead to lethargy, so sip water throughout the day to make sure you get enough.

  1. Water helps our bodies maintain a normal temperature.

The National Council on Aging explains that

when you’re dehydrated, your body stores more heat. This in turn lowers your ability to tolerate hot temperatures. Drinking plenty of water helps you produce sweat when you’re overheated during activity, which in turn cools your body down. This built-in cooling mechanism is critical in preventing heat stroke and other potentially deadly heat-related conditions.

So whether you’re outside on a hot day, feeling ill, or hitting the gym, don’t forget that bottle of water.

  1. Water can help stave off headaches.

If you’re like me and suffer from migraines or chronic headaches, you’ll try anything to alleviate the pain. Did you know that even mild dehydration can lead to the brain contracting away from the skull, which causes headaches? So the next time you feel a headache coming on, grab some water and see if it helps. Better yet, stay hydrated!

  1. Water helps remove waste products from our bodies.

Water keeps our bodily systems working properly and flushing the natural wastes we all have. If we don’t drink enough water, we may encounter constipation or even kidney problems.

  1. Water helps prevent medical conditions like UTIs and kidney stones.

Kidney stones result when clumps of crystals form in the urinary tract. This can be horribly painful. Drinking plenty of water dilutes the concentration of the minerals that form the stones, reducing the likelihood that they will be created. In addition, drinking the proper amount of water flushes harmful bacteria from inside the bladder, which can help prevent UTIs.

  1. Water helps lubricate our joints.

Because the cartilage in our joints contains about 80% water, staying well hydrated will also keep our joints lubricated. This helps reduce friction between the bones. And if there’s less friction, we will feel less pain.

Do other liquids “count” as water?

While the majority of what we drink should be water, sometimes we crave some extra flavor or we need electrolytes. But we must be cautious, as many sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar. So limit the amount of sugary sports drinks and opt for no-sugar and low-calorie electrolyte beverages. I like to add a packet of Propel powder to my water. It has zero calories, no carbs, and encourages me to drink water. You can also add fresh limes, lemons, or even strawberries or raspberries to your water to give it a refreshing taste.

Likewise, limit the amount of juices and sodas you drink. While they do contain some water, they are high in calories and sugars and offer very few health benefits.

Coffee and tea do count as water, but if they’re caffeinated, they will also have a diuretic effect, so if you drink more than a couple small cups of coffee, you may want to increase your water intake. This will also keep you from becoming jittery.

Alcoholic drinks do contain water, but according to WebMD, these “actually cause you to lose more water through your urine.” If you plan to drink, alternate your alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.

Not all fluids are equal. Keep in mind that you can become dehydrated even if you feel that you are drinking lots of fluids. Make sure the majority of your fluids is water.

How much water do I need?

Exactly how much water we need each day is dependent upon our size, how much activity we’re involved with, and even how hot it is outside, as we sweat more and need to replace more fluids when it’s hotter. It’s best to talk to your doctor, but the Institute of Medicine has some basic guidelines.

The institute recommends that men drink about 13 cups—that’s three liters or a little over 101 ounces—of fluid every day. It recommends that women drink nine cups—that’s slightly more than two liters or about 67 ounces—every day. Pregnant and nursing women need more. Likewise, the more activity you do and the hotter it is, the more you will need.

If you’re used to drinking from a standard 16.9 oz water bottle, for women that’s a little over four, and for men that’s a little under six. In addition to being cumbersome to count and carry around, that’s a lot of plastic!

That’s why PI developed a new awesome water container.

New PI products!

One of the excuses we regularly hear is that water bottles don’t hold enough and that it’s difficult to find places out of the home to fill a water bottle with good-quality water. So we solved that problem and made it simple!

We have developed a ½ gallon water jug that not only lists the volume at certain increments but that even has suggested times to drink and encouraging phrases to keep you inspired. With a comfortable handle and a handy carrying strap, this bottle will become your favorite! And you’ll find that there’s nothing easier than filling up the container before you leave for work and watching the liquid decrease throughout the day. With this convenient container, you will be well on your way to drinking the necessary amount of water every day.

We also have a new stainless steel shaker that can be used for carrying water or even your favorite protein shake. You will love the look and feel of this sleek shaker!

Water is vital to all of our bodily systems. At Performance Inspired Nutrition, we know that, and we want you to become excited about drinking water and staying hydrated. So check out our new water jug and our new shaker. We only get one body. Let us help you treat it right!

Byline Susan
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