Being sequestered in the house on another stormy spring day seems like a perfect time to talk about hydration. The plants outside my window look so lush and healthy after the rain. Fully hydrated and ready to face the heat of the sun when the storm passes. Makes me want a glass of water….wait…I’ll be back….oh actually! Go grab a glass and come back, I’ll wait…. Ahhhh…. Better.
Now, where was I (besides well-hydrated)? Let’s sprint right through the dry basics of staying hydrated.
How much water should I drink? A good baseline is about 72-96 ounces per day. This can vary by activity level, climate, body size, etc. But getting 72-96 ounces is a great amount for most people most days.
Do all liquids count? Generally, no. Many beverages have other ingredients that make our body use the water in the beverage to process them. Coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks (soda) are not hydrating (and can be negative). When considering caffeine, I often ask that you add back the ounces of water that you drank in the caffeinated beverage.
Start your day with a tall glass of water, at least 16 ounces. I am always surprised by how parched I am in the morning. That first glass before doing anything else is both satisfying and fantastic for hydration. I find it harder to hit my water goal if I skip this glass.
Now let’s get fully immersed!
Drink room-temperature water! I know. I know. In America, we always have ice in our water or drink from the refrigerator. But cold water can be harder on your system than warm water. Room temperature water or warm water has many health benefits that range from blood circulation to better bowel movements. Now, after coming inside on a 97o summer day may be forgivable but only because the full body ice bath wasn’t ready.
Another item to consider when discussing water is when to drink it. You want to consume the lion’s share of water NOT while you are eating or digesting food. Spread out the water throughout the day. You may wish to stop drinking water by a certain time in the evening to avoid nightly wake-ups.
Also, try to ditch bottled water (for so many reasons). Drinking filtered water is best.
Can I make my water interesting?
Yes! I know that no one is going to only drink room temperature water all day long without getting a little bored. Here are some ways to make that water exciting and fit your needs throughout the day.
Thirsty after a workout? Add some electrolytes to your water. Find a brand that does not have added sugar or fake flavoring to get the benefits of the nutrients without inhibiting your ability to absorb them.
Enjoy a little zest? Squeeze a lemon into a full glass. This is particularly great first thing in the morning to jumpstart your system (and wake you up a little).
Time for a tea break? Yes, sounds lovely. A nice afternoon cup of herbal tea is both hydrating and calming. Some herbal teas can be dehydrating like ones that say detox or remedy. Those are great if you are feeling a little under the weather but may not help stay fully hydrated. Lemon, ginger, lavender, and many other teas are a great way to get a tasty beverage.
What do I do?
Glad you asked. I warm filtered and re-mineralized water to fill a 32-ounce mason jar which then doubles as a hand warmer. I do this at least three times per day. Warm and hydrated, what could be better?