Ways to Stay Hydrated While Being Active
This month, we’ve discussed the importance of staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. Both of these factors can contribute to weight loss and weight gain. We’ve explored how adequate amounts of hydration and sleep can help our bodies in various ways. We’ve also debunked the top two most popular myths about water consumption. Also as I suggested last week in my Truths about Water I explain how I think is truly needed.
As I’ve stated before, the amount of water needed each day is based on many different factors and varies from person to person. One of these factors that affects how much water you should be drinking is your level of physical activity. With that being said, today I’m going to talk about different ways to stay hydrated with hydrating foods, how many glasses of water a day contribute to your hydration levels, and how to stay hydrated while being active.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the amount of water you should drink each day varies from person to person. We lose water every day through our breath, perspiration, and urine and bowel movements. It’s important that we replenish what is lost.
With that being said, the amount of water I lose each day differs from the amount of water you lose each day. It’s important to consult with your personal trainer, dietitian, or primary care physician so you know how much water you should be drinking to stay hydrated. By consulting a professional, they can take different factors into account, like your weight, activity levels, and any health issues you might have.
Men should be consuming about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water each day. Women should be consuming 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water each day. I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve always heard that you should drink eight glasses of water a day! That’s way too much!” I know this might concern you, but what I’m about to stay will ease your worries. You don’t have to drink that many cups of water to reach the appropriate daily intake of water for your needs. In fact, 80% of this can come from various beverages, while the remaining 20% can be found in food!
So if we can get 20% of our hydration from foods, what counts as a “hydrating snack?”
Here are a couple examples of hydrating foods:
- Watermelon is made up of 92% of water! It also includes vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium, making for a great hydrating snack!
- Strawberries are made up of 91% of water. They’re dense in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and manganese.
- Oranges are made up of 88% of water. They’re filled with vitamin C and potassium which is beneficial for boosting your immune function and heart health!
- Zucchini has a water content of 92%. A cup of chopped zucchini contains more than 90% of water and 35% of your intake of vitamin C. You can add zucchini to soups and stews, or shred it to make zucchini pasta.
- Cauliflower has a water content of 92%. One cup of cauliflower contains more than ¼ cup of water and is dense choline, an essential nutrient for supporting brain health and metabolism. You can eat cauliflower raw, roast it, or use it to make cauliflower rice!
- Bell peppers. Bell peppers contain 92% of water. One cup of bell peppers provides 317% of your daily intake of vitamin C, which can help your body absorb iron more effectively! Slice them and drip them in some low-fat ranch dressing or grill them!
Now I mentioned above that your projected daily water intake will vary based on your exercise levels.
So how much water should you drink while exercising? You should be drinking water before, during, and after you exercise to ensure that you don’t dehydrate. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercising, seven to ten ounces every ten to twenty minutes during your workout, and 16 to 24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost after exercising.
Looking for more ideas and tips to stay hydrated?
Don’t hesitate to contact us today! Our trainers are waiting to help you through every aspect of your fitness journey, from the comfort of your own home. We offer phone consultations and virtual training sessions so that you don’t have to put your fitness goals on hold!