February 24, 2020
We all know hydration is important, but how much is the right amount of water for you? What counts? How do you track it and why are there so many questions about water?
Let’s start at the beginning. How much water should you drink? In general, it is recommended to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day. That means that a 150 pound person would need to drink 75 ounces of water each day. That’s just a guideline, though. If you are very active, work outside often, run a marathon, etc., you will need more water than the recommended amount. Remember that symptoms of dehydration can begin to show when you are even just slightly under hydrated.
What counts as water though? Does the milk you drink count? What about coffee? You’ve probably heard before that other liquids don’t “count”. That’s not exactly true. Drinks that contain alcohol and coffee are dehydrating. Milk (or chocolate milk) can be a better recovery drink than sports drinks – partly because milk is actually more hydrating than water. When you’re trying to decide what to drink, consider your circumstances. For daily hydration or a leisurely stroll through the park, grab a glass of water. If you are running a marathon, having a high intensity workout, or other similar activity and need to replace carbs and electrolytes, a sports drink is a great choice.
Now you have an idea about how much you should drink and what counts, but how do you track it? There’s always good old pencil and paper. Grab a small notebook and jot down every time you have a glass throughout your day. If you are more technically savvy, there are apps available such as WaterMinder that let you set a goal and then log your water intake. On Water Minder a person on the screen fills up with water as you drink. Items that are more hydrating “count” for more. You can set up items for quick tracking and if you have a smart watch it can sync up with the app. It also has charts which are a fun way to see your water intake.
In closing, make sure to hydrate!