As temperatures lower one topic that usually gets on the back burner is hydration. Are you drinking enough to ensure you are replacing the electrolytes and nutrients we lose when we sweat? We’ve all heard we need to stay hydrated and need to drink water, but how much are we supposed to? Some people stick to 8 glasses of water, some stick to half of our body weight in ounces, and some people think if you wait until your thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. We’ve done some digging and found The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that daily amount of water should be about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
Now, that seems like a very intimidating number but what we always fail to remember is how much water we are getting from the food we eat. A lot of fruits and vegetables are made up of so much water it can help contribute to our daily intake. Another food that can help us in these winter months is soups and stews since they contain a lot of liquid to replenish what our bodies use throughout the day. But not all foods and beverages are created equal. Some liquids that contain excessive caffeine and sugar which could be causing more harm than good. Keep an eye on ingredients because even drinks labeled ‘healthy’ or ‘sports’ drinks can contain a bunch of hidden sugar and calories.
Our bodies are made of about 50-70% of water so it’s really important to make sure we replace all that water we lose inorder to make sure our bodies continue to functional properly. The important thing to keep in mind when you are outside in cool weather is water can actually help our bodies regulate temperature. A couple other “cool” facts about water are: it will help us gets rid of toxins, lubricates and cushions our joints and discs, and protects sensitive tissues. If trying keep track of certain water amounts is too much a good way to track hydration level is to track your urine color. If you are properly hydrated it should be a colorless or light yellow color.
As with everything, do your own research and talk to your doctor about whats right for you. Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you every day.