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Have you ever had a day when you just feel off, feel tired or not able to concentrate as much? What is your go to remedy or cause? Is your first thought water? I mean water as, how much have you consumed for the day? Could you be dehydrated? Could you use more water to boost you out of that slump? When I have to start considering this as a cause, I term it water on the brain. In order to keep the amount of water I consume daily at the recommended levels, I have to make a conscience effort to track and consume what I need. Do you know what the recommended daily intake of water is? I believe there are many theories on this, so lets break down why water is so important to begin with.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, water recommendations are based on sex, age, and health status. In the United States, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for total water intake is 3.7 liters per day (L/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 L/day for human females older than 18 which includes drinking water, water in beverages, and water contained in food. However, the specific recommendations vary based on the amount of water that you lose on a daily basis through urination, metabolism or perspiration. As well, these recommendations will be higher for people who live in a hot climate or exercise or are physically active, resulting in more perspiration.
The following are USDA Recommendations for water intake states that everyone needs from under one liter to nearly 4 liters based on sex, age, and health status. Here are some specifics:
Newborns and Infants: 0.7 to 0.8 L daily from breast milk or formula
Toddlers: 1.3 L daily
Young Children up to 8 years old: 1.7 L daily
Boys age 9-13: 2.4 L daily
Teenaged boys and adult men: 2.7 L daily
Girls age 9-13: 2.1 L daily
Teenaged girls: 2.3 L daily
Adult women: 2.7 L daily
Pregnant women: at least 3 L daily
Lactating women: 3.8 L daily
These recommendations are made because the body is made up of 80% water, muscles are made primarily of protein and water. Your body needs water for digestion, perspiration, rebuilding cells and to keep your blood pumping through the body. Drinking enough water ensures your body can relieve the body of toxins, through urination and perspiration. These reasons back up why depending on your age, sex, health status and climate play a role in the amount of water you will need to consume to stay hydrated. You consume water in beverages, and foods you eat. Examples of foods that contain water are: apples, oranges, melons, celery, and cucumbers.
Like always, make sure you eat a balanced diet and drink your RDI of water to feel your best. Everything we eat or drink affects the way our body performs. Lets make a conscience effort to keep the body performing at its best!
Summer is here, July 4th weekend is beginning, and its HOT outside! Here are some tricks to stay hydrated this summer and beat the heat!
Not only does water keep you hydrated, it serves even more beneficial purposes too. Water is the solvent for important biochemical reactions in the body like supplying nutrients and removing waste from the body. Water maintains blood circulation, which carries heat away from internal organs, that heat travels through the bloodstream to your skin, otherwise known as sweating. Sweating allows your body to regulate and maintain a safe body temperature.
If you do not get your daily intake of water, the balance within your body is thrown off. Once you start feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated, and have lost about 1% of your body water. If the body reaches a 2% body water loss, you can experience serious fatigue, cardiovascular impairments, reduced appetite, dark urine, dry mouth, mild headache, chills and dizziness. When fluid loss reaches 5%, this is a level of serious dehydration. You can suffer from decreased sweating and urination, increased heart rate, respiration and body temperature, muscle cramps, extreme fatigue, severe headaches, constipation, tingling and numbness. Fluid loss above this level needs immediate medical attention as fatality or serious loss of organ function is eminent.
So… lets all avoid these horrific symptoms and stay hydrated this summer by using these tips:
1. Drink enough water to prevent thirst. So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.
2. Watch the color of your urine, It should be a pale yellow and not a dark yellow or smelly or cloudy.
3. Drink water before, during and after exercise or exertion.
4. Avoid alcohol
5. Eat your fruits and vegetables! They all contain vital nutrients (like potassium) and water. You can also replace fluids and sodium losses with watery foods like soup and vegetable juices.
6. If you are a hiker, you will need food such as dried fruits and nut mixes that contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, calories and carbs.
To determine your need for fluid replacement, weight yourself immediately before heavy exercise, and right after. If you see an immediate weight loss, you have lost substantial body water. It is recommended to drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost, and that same amount should be consumed before your next workout.
Stay cool by wearing loose, light clothes, a hat, sunscreen and limit the amount of time you are in the direct sun. Drink water, stay cool and enjoy your summer. Try this fun, hydrating beverage to keep your fluid levels balanced:
Cucumber Lime Refresher
Serve this thirst-quenching drink at your next gathering!
1 pitcher of water
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
The juice of 4-5 limes
Add lime juice and cucumber slices to the pitcher of water. Stir to mix well. Refrigerate to chill or serve