Hydration: Facts or Fiction
Aug 18, 2021
You may think you don’t “like” drinking water, but it’s almost a sure thing you’ll like what water does for your body. Here’s a quick list of benefits, just to refresh your memory.
Your body needs water to:
- Regulate your body temperature via sweating and respiration
- Lubricate your joints for movement
- Transport oxygen, nourishment, hormones, and endorphins throughout your body
- Support healthy organ function
- Eliminate waste and toxins
- Help prevent heartburn, migraines, ulcers, kidney stones, and backaches
Drinking enough water can also help you:
- Feel full so you consume fewer calories
- Lower blood pressure*
- Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke*
- Reduce cholesterol levels*
- Improve your sleep quality
- Boost your mood
There’s really no question that staying hydrated is good for you. The question is: How do you stay well hydrated? The answer: Make it more fun! To get started, let's play a little game of fact or fiction. The result could be a happier, more hydrated body if you incorporate even a little of what you learn.
FACT or FICTION: The best way to stay hydrated is to drink when you’re thirsty.
FICTION: Thirst is the body’s way of telling you that you’re slightly dehydrated. Stay ahead of the game by sipping water steadily throughout the day.
FACT or FICTION: Flavored water, broth, ice pops, and sports drinks count toward your hydration goals.
FACT: They do! Though, popsicles and sports drinks can add to your calorie count, too. If adding flavor makes hydrating more fun, feel free to add a sprig of mint or slice of fruit—even cucumber!—to your glass.
FACT or FICTION: Watermelon has water in it. That counts, right?
FACT: It does! Water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes help your body stay hydrated, but they don’t take the place of water. Add them to your diet and think of them as hydration-helpers and yummy treats!
FACT or FICTION: Coffee and alcohol help hydrate, too!
FICTION: While these beverages do contain water, both caffeine and alcohol can work against your body’s ability to stay hydrated. A good strategy is to follow each cocktail or cup of coffee with a glass of cool, clear water!
FACT or FICTION: Nine glasses of water is exactly what it takes for an adult to stay hydrated.
MAYBE: Nine glasses of water is generally enough to help you stay hydrated, but if you’re working out lots, spending time in the heat, recovering from an illness, pregnant, nursing, or engaging in other hydration-depleting activities, you might need a little more water to stay hydrated. If you think you might need more than 9 glasses of water daily, we suggest this strategy: start with 9, but watch for signals like dark urine, muscle cramps, bad breath, fatigue, dry mouth or skin, irritability, confusion, and drowsiness, as these can be signs that your body needs more hydration.
If you have questions about proper hydration, or about your overall wellness plan, a personal trainer can help! They will take the time to understand your lifestyle and goals, and then leverage their knowledge and expertise to build a customized plan that will help you be your best, healthiest self. At FitnessTogether® studios, that’s what we’re all about!
* Source: NIFS "The more water you drink throughout the day, the more fluid leaves your blood vessels. When this happens, your blood vessels are able to relax. When the vessels relax and dilate, a decrease in blood pressure occurs. When the blood vessels remain relaxed and pressure lowers, the risk for other serious cardiovascular conditions decreases as well. Reduction in blood pressure specifically helps to decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack."