Balance your body with the proper hydration it needs with these three tips.
First, it is important to understand your personal hydration needs. You may hear the common “8 cups a day” method, but this does not account for the weather, your gender, your workout, your work environment, or your health status.
You can gauge your baseline water needs off of the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) recommendation, which states that women should drink about 11 cups of water a day. This will include any water consumed in other drinks or foods as well.
Now that you have your baseline, think about your activity level. The next couple of steps can get a little tricky because everybody’s personal needs fluctuate. However, you can keep in mind that the harder you workout, the more water you will sweat out. You want to replace the water lost by increasing your water intake. As a general rule of thumb, try to drink an extra two glasses of water about two hours before your workout, a glass 30 minutes before your workout, a glass every 10-20 minutes throughout your workout, and a glass 30 minutes after your workout.
With your water needs more clearly in place, here are three easy ways you can increase your water intake.
You can add at least three extra cups of water into your day if you drink a glass before each meal. While making coffee in the morning, drink a glass of water. While thinking about what to make for lunch, sip on another glass. While wrapping things up at work and heading home for dinner, fill another one up.
Sometimes we can mistake our thirst cues for hunger cues and reach for a snack before we reach for our water bottles. Use these cues as a reminder to drink your water and see if the hunger dissipates. You may end up losing a little of that stubborn weight by staying more hydrated and feeling less snacky.
Staying up on your water intake requires some diligence and planning. If you keep a water bottle with you, you can fill it up throughout the day and sip continually. Seeing your water bottle on your desk or in your car will also remind you to drink up.
You can also eat your way to higher water intakes! Many fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of water, helping you easily achieve your target for the day. They will not only help increase your water needs, but they will also boost your antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral levels.
Try to include the following hydrating foods throughout your day to increase your water intake:
- Lettuce: 96% water
- Celery: 95% water
- Zucchini: 95% water
- Cabbage: 92% water
- Watermelon: 91% water
- Cantaloupe: 90% water
- Apple: 84% water