Most people understand how important water consumption is during the day. You probably have a general amount in your head of how much you should drink, but how do you know that you’re actually getting enough? Dehydration can cause many problems, so how do you ensure that you really are drinking the amount of water you need?
Water is a crucial part of proper nutrition, and when you drink enough during the day, you have the energy to accomplish everything you need to do. We encourage our clients at EW Motion Therapy to drink plenty of water so their bodies function properly and perform at the level they want. Our ultimate goal is to make sure you understand how much water is enough, even if you choose not to come see us.
This article will discuss general guidelines for hydration, symptoms of dehydration, and other ways to stay healthy during your day. This information will be helpful to ensure your body functions at its best.
How much water do you need?
The amount of water you need during the day depends on your body type and your activity level. But generally, experts recommend 2.7L per day for women and 3.7L for men. This does not mean you have to fill up your water bottle that many times - you also obtain water from some of the food you eat. For example, cucumbers are about 95% water, and other fruits like apples and watermelon have high water content.
When you exercise, you need to drink more water to replace the sweat you lose during your workout. About 2-3 hours before your workout, you should consume around 2-2.5 cups, so you do not become dehydrated before you even start. During your activity, you should take water breaks every 10-20 minutes, depending on the intensity of your workout. You should drink about 1 cup during these breaks. In the first 30 minutes after you’re done, drink another cup, so your body can begin to rehydrate as your muscle tissues heal.
Water is the best thing to drink during workouts, but if you are doing at least an hour of vigorous activity, you can add in a sports drink or something else high in electrolytes so you do not create an imbalance. If you do not take in enough electrolytes, you can experience muscle cramps and fatigue, among other symptoms.
What happens when you’re dehydrated?
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. A clear sign of dehydration is yellow or dark-colored urine. You can also experience muscle cramps, dizziness, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and fatigue. Dehydration decreases blood volume, which decreases blood flow to your muscles. This can extend the muscle recovery process after workouts exponentially, and cause a general decrease in muscle health over time.
The human body is about 60% water, so it is vital to daily functioning to drink enough. You can usually abate mild to moderate dehydration by simply increasing your water intake, following general guidelines outlined earlier. But if it progresses to an extreme situation, you may need hospital treatment for up to three days to restore your body’s fluids.
How else should you stay healthy?
Now you know more about hydration and how much water your body really needs to function properly. Along with getting enough water, a balanced diet is essential to your health, with plenty of fruits and vegetables and the right amounts of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. If you prioritize nutrition, you will set yourself up for success as you pursue any and all of your health goals.
We recommend that our clients at EW Motion Therapy drink plenty of water and follow a balanced diet so they can heal properly and keep their bodies performing at optimum levels. If you are interested in physical therapy or nutritional services with us, fill out the Request an Appointment form on our website, and someone from our staff will contact you within 48 hours with your next steps.