H 2 O !

Are any of the below bullet points part of your health and fitness goals?

  • Lose weight
  • Improve energy and mood
  • Reduce joint and muscle aches
  • Look healthier, better skin
  • Feel better, improve digestion

If so, then here’s a very easy tip to help you achieve any of the above: DRINK WATER!  

Hydration is vital for overall good health.  Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, reduces the friction/tightness of your muscular connective tissue, delivers nutrients to cells, improves sleep quality, cognitive skills, mood, and removes waste.  It’s essential for survival.  I think the importance of staying hydrated is fairly common knowledge, however, most of us still don’t hydrate enough each day.

Here’s my favorite tip about drinking water:
The FIRST thing you should put into your body after you wake up is to drink a bottle or a cup of water.  Before you drink coffee and before you eat, drink some water.  Why?  Glad you asked!

Your body loses water even when you sleep, your body loses water simply from breathing.  Because you wake up in a dehydrated state, you should first replenish that water.  It’s a perfect start to your day and gives your body exactly what it needs.  You also get a head start on your total water intake for the day so you don’t have to catch up at night when you’re about to go to sleep (which then causes you to wake up and pee 5 times a night…)

Drinking water is an excellent tool to help achieve weight loss goals.  Thirst can often be confused with hunger.  If you drink water first, and then you don’t feel hungry, then bam, you just saved some calories.  Drink water with every meal and you’re likely to feel full sooner and longer.

Courtesy: NASM

How much water should I drink?

That’s a great question that has no simple answer.  The answer is it depends.  The “experts” recommend 11 cups of water per day for women and 16 cups for men, but that doesn’t take into account physical activity, your environment, overall health, or even pregnancy.  

So rather than aiming for a specific number of ounces of water per day, aim for staying well hydrated throughout the day.  Aside from feelings of thirst, if your urine is amber or dark yellow, then you could be dehydrated.  If you haven’t gone to the bathroom in a long time or don’t go routinely throughout the day, you could be dehydrated.  If you have dry mouth, bad breath, dizziness, headaches, or feelings of fatigue could also be signs of dehydration.  

The amount of water doesn’t have to come strictly from water.  Tea, fruits, even black coffee can count toward your total hydration amount (although caffeine can also increase your bathroom trips, which then dehydrates you).

Here are some more tips to keep adequately hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.  I recommend reusable bottles not simply for the environment, but because it’s easy to keep track of how much you’ve been drinking.  Also, when it’s empty you have to get up and move to refill it!  Remember, every step counts!
  • Add fruit to your water for flavor if you can’t drink water as easily as you can crush beer or wine (UGH tell me about it…)
  • Drink a glass of water EVERY time you eat a meal!  Don’t skip the water!
  • Fruits and vegetables count for hydration.  Lettuce, celery, zucchini, melons, tomatoes, strawberries are all over 90% water. Apples, grapefruit, and oranges are over 85%
  • Find a schedule.  Perhaps drink some water at the top of every hour when you’re at work.  If you work from home, then there’s no reason not to!  Bathroom access should be easy if you end up drinking too much.  Plus, every time you go to the bathroom you add more walking steps! Hooray!

For more nutrition advice and a customized plan for you, reach out to me below!

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