Wellness Wednesday: Hydration Across the Nation
Look in the mirror and stare at yourself. Reach up and touch your face. Seems solid, right? Although it may be hard to fathom, humans are more liquid than solid. Approximately 60-70% of the human body is composed of water. As the temperatures begin to climb for the summer, this point becomes even more important, as excessive sweating can lead to fatigue, headaches, dehydration and even serious complications if not corrected. So let’s review the basics of hydration.
The amount of water that you need to drink varies on an individual level, depending on factors like activity level, health status, gender and place you live. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which is equal to about 2 liters or half a gallon. This number goes up if you are actively sweating, breast feeding or pregnant. Especially if your activities take you outdoors, make sure that you are bringing water with you and drinking it often any time that you plan to exercise longer than a half an hour.
I am often asked what beverages count towards daily hydration. My stock answer is: water. Although beverages like tea, coffee and soda are largely composed of water as well, they also usually contain things like sugar and caffeine, both of which pull water out of your cells and therefore may cancel out some of the “hydrating” effect of the beverage you are drinking.
You may think that this is a no-brainer and its pretty obvious where you get water from, but there are more ways than one to skin (or hydrate) a cat. Water can be found in lots of plant foods- including apples, celery, cucumber, watermelon and radishes. Eating these foods along with adequate liquid water intake also helps contribute to overall hydration and has the added benefit of keeping you feeling full without a ton of calories. Try these foods cold for an extra burst of refreshment.