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Hydration and Water Intake: How much do you really need?

hydration water intakeMost of us have heard about the importance of drinking water, not only for fitness but for general health. But how much is enough? How much is too much? And how to make drinking it less boring so you can get enough in? We wanted to tackle those issues today in our Health Tip of the week to help you stay properly hydrated!

How much water is enough?

The truth is water intake is not one size fits all, and can vary from person to person. Most of us are likely not getting in enough. There's the old advice of "drink 8 glasses of 8oz each per day," but how accurate is it? According to the Mayo Clinic, it's not too far off, but a little bit under estimates for the average woman, and a few glasses shy of the recommendation for the average man. The Mayo Clinic actually recommends 13 cups daily for men (104 oz) and 9 cups daily for women (72oz). Read more on the specific science behind their findings here on their website.  Both these figures are above the references 8 glasses or 64oz, however.  And if you're an athlete, working out or sweating regularly, your intake should be even higher. Your needs are also different based on age, and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The USDA makes some guidelines here. Keep in mind that most fluids count towards this recommendation, as well as some foods like fruits and vegetables. Still, the bottom line- drink up! Most of us are under the recommendations.

Can you drink too much water?

Yes, it is possible to actually drink too much water, especially if you aren't also replacing your electrolytes. This condition is called Water Intoxication and can actually be deadly. It is, however, not very common, for one simple reason- it depends on how quickly you drink the water, not just total volume. Your kidneys can handle 15 liters per day if spaced out! This conditions is most often seen in infants who are being fed formula that is too watered down, or athletes who rehydrate in excess without adding electrolytes. So unless you're running a marathon or an infant, you aren't likely at risk.

What if water is just too boring?

watermelon cilantro infused waterWanting to up your hydration but your tastebuds just don't like plain water? Rather than turning to sodas or sugary and caffeinated beverages, which may do more harm than good, consider an infused water. You can add fruit, herbs, spices, even vegetables to infuse water with just a little bit of natural flavor. Need some ideas? Check out this great Fruit Infused Waters website with many recipes to try out. Also keep in mind- if you eat a lot of fruits and veggies anyways, as well as soups or other liquids, these all count towards your recommended intake. By mixing a little interest to your intake, hitting the recommended levels can be fun and flavorful, and part of a healthy lifestyle!

Need more healthy ideas? Email us with topics!

Email us and we'll post more tips to help you live healthier, happier, and fitter. reFORM Studios, 1081-B East Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405    843-284-3340

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