Here are some answers to common hydration questions/concerns:
How much water should I drink?
- Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Water consumed during or after a workout does not count.
It’s hard to drink that much. How do I do it?
- Carry a reusable 32 ounce (one liter) bottle everywhere you go. My favorites are the small mouth nalgene bottles because they are very convenient to carry on a finger. Make your goal measurable. If your goal is 100 ounces, drink two bottles before lunch, one in the afternoon and plenty of water with meals. This is easier than keeping track of how many glasses you drink.
Does coffee, tea, juice and/or soda count towards my goal?
- Only unsweetened (this includes sugar substitutes) liquids count.
I don’t like water. What can I add for flavor?
- Frozen fruit, lemon, lime or ginger are a few ideas.
Does coffee dehydrate me? I’ve heard it’s bad for me.
- Coffee only dehydrates if it is consumed inconsistently. For example, if you head to your local coffee shop for a random afternoon latte, that afternoon/night/following day you will be dehydrated. If you drink less than 12 ounces every morning, then no.
When I drink that much water I’m always in the bathroom.
- That’s a good thing! Your kidneys are a filter. When your blood volume is not optimal, your kidneys do not get enough blood and therefore do not function properly. This affects your heart health and your metabolism. Going to the bathroom every hour or so is good! To prevent waking in the middle of the night, stop drinking water after dinner.
How does adequate water help me with energy and/or weight loss?
- Your muscles are made of water and protein. If you don’t give them what they are made of, they can’t be built. Being fully hydrated on a daily basis means you have optimal blood supply to all of your working cells, tissues and organs. In turn, this means they are consistently getting adequate oxygen, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. We burn fat when there is adequate oxygen supplying our metabolism.
Kristin Burgess, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer