Live Fit Tip #1 – Hydration

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be introducing a series of basic nutrition and fitness tips that will put you on the path for optimal health.  It takes about 21 days to introduce your brain and body to a new habit, which is why we would encourage you to incorporate each tip gradually.  Our goal is to help you create lasting healthy habits.

As a reminder the nutrition tips provided in this blog are science based tips that have been utilized successfully by ourselves and our clients, but may not be the best fit for everyone.  If you have a metabolic or medical condition you should seek nutrition guidance from your physician.

Tip #1: Drink Water

Yes, that’s right; we are recommending water as our first nutrition tip.  This was probably not what you were expecting, but it’s a fact that water comprises more than half of our bodies making it one of the most important nutrients.  In fact, water has been ranked by experts as second only to oxygen as essential for life.

Recommendation:   

Clearly water is important, but how much do you need?

As it turns out “8 x 8” is out.  Drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water has been a common recommendation given by health and fitness professionals over the years, BUT there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Some experts suggest that you can take your weight in pounds and divide that in half to get a good estimate of how much water you need each day.  This is a good baseline estimate method and one that we use at Better Together Fitness.  It’s easy to figure out and easy to remember.  However this is truly a baseline and you will need to adjust this based on physical activity levels, diet factors, and general climate factors.

To get a little more specific with the numbers, the Dietary Reference Intake as published by the Institute of Medicine is 13 cups of fluid (101.4 ounces) for sedentary men and 9 cups of fluid (74.4 ounces) for sedentary women each day.  This amount is for actual fluid intake and does not include water provided in foods.

Which ever method you are using, remember that this is a baseline amount and more water is recommended for individuals who are physically active or exposed to a hot environment.  It is also recommended to include an additional 8 ounces of water for every caffeinated/alcoholic beverage consumed.  Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which cause you to lose water faster.

You’ll know you are at a good hydration level based on the color of your urine. Think of the color of lemonade (pale yellow) as a goal indicator.

Benefits:

There are numerous benefits to staying properly hydrated, some may be obvious and some not so obvious. While this list is not all inclusive, one thing is certain; the benefits of staying properly hydrated outweigh the harmful effects of dehydration by far.

  • The human body is composed of over 60-70% of water…even the slightest drop in this level can have an impact on every bodily function!
  • Helps reduce the risks of heart disease.
  • Helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.
  • Improves workout performance and recovery.
  • Decreases the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon, bladder, and breast cancer.
  • Helps flush out toxins and waste from your body.
  • Help you feel energized throughout the day, including improved mental clarity, memory and attention.
  • Helps deliver nutrients, vitamins, and minerals throughout your body, helping your body function healthily and properly.
  • Helps relieve joint pain; if you are properly hydrated; your joints will thank you!
  • Naturally moisturizes the skin, giving it a healthy glow.

Water’s Functions in the Body

As you can see, water is essential for many vital functions in the body and a very important element to consider in leading a healthy life. So how do you make sure you get enough in?  Great question…stay tuned for our next post where we will share multiple tips for incorporating more water into your day. You’ll be hydrating like a champion in no time!

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Posted on July 18, 2012, in Nutrition, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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