Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Do you often hear the question, “Are you drinking enough water?” For many good reasons this is a very important question. A study done by the CDC states that 43% of adults in the United States drink less than 4 cups of water per day. Proper water intake is one of the most important things you can do to live a healthier life. 
Why is this so important you may ask? Water makes up ab out 60% of our bodies and is responsible for carrying out all of our body’s normal functions, such as:
  • Transports blood sugars, oxygen and fats to working muscles.
  • Provide structure and protection which cushions and lubricates joints and organs.
  • It is needed for chemical reactions which involve energy production
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Eliminates waste
In regards to appropriate water intake, every one is different; gender, environment, activity level, and illness are some of the factors needed to take into consideration. The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups of fluid per day for males and 9 cups per day for females. Not every ounce of water needs to come from drinking plain water, 25-30% of our daily requirements come from the foods we eat. For example: a medium orange contains 4 oz of water, 1 cup of carrots contain about 3.8 oz and low fat yogurt contains approximately 7 oz. Keep in mind consuming beverages that are high in caffeine, a diuretic, can create water loss and beverages containing high amounts of sugar result in consuming increased calories that our bodies may not need. When living in hot, humid environments and/or high level athletes your water intake increases to ensure adequate hydration due to the amount of water lost in sweat.
When proper hydration is not consumed, dehydration can occur which can cause serious effects to our bodies. Assessing the color of your urine throughout the day can help determine your level of hydration or dehydration. If the color is pale like lemonade you are consuming enough fluids and the darker it is you could becoming dehydrated. Common signs and symptoms of dehydration are but not limited to: headaches, muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and improper tissue healing.
Ways to help keep your fluid intake sufficient:

  • Keep a reusable water bottle with you. 
  • Add fresh fruit to your water to give it some flavor without adding a lot of sugar and calories such as apple slices, raspberries, lemon or cucumber slices. 
  • Order water when going out to eat which will also save on the pocket book!!
Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC 
Physical Therapist Assistant 
Andover Physical Therapy 

March 18th, 2015

Posted In: General

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