This time of year, I think we are all focused on keeping hydrated. As the heat raises so does our thirst, which is a good thing. Our bodies are 65 percent water; proper hydration flushes out toxins, keeps the memory sharp, aids in digestion, lubricates our joints and keeps the body from overheating.
The old advice of eight 8 ounce a day is not really what is commonly recommended today. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine, developed new guidelines for water consumption for healthy adults. Women should aim for 91 ounces (about 2.7 liters) per day and men should aim for 125 ounces (about 3.7 liters) per day. This is the total water from all beverages (even coffee) and foods. Typically, 20 to 25 percent of the water you consume comes from the foods you eat.
Let thirst be your guide. The kidneys balance and regulate our water requirements, so we take in and retain as much fluid as the body needs. It is easy to gauge how well hydrated we are by simply looking at our urine. It should be fairly clear and if it is not, you need to drink more water. Also, take in to account some medications and foods will affect urine color.
Tips to Increase Water Intake:
- Keep track of how much water you drink a day. Just the fact that you are keeping track of how much water you drink will remind you to drink more.
- Carry a water bottle with you on the go. Just having water by your side will remind you to drink.
- At night, prepare water for the next day. If it is easy to grab, you will be more likely to bring it with you.
- Make flavored waters with lemons, limes, oranges, mint or cucumber. Get creative.
- Recently, I have been flavoring a liter size bottle of water with one sliced apple and a cinnamon stick and I let it steep over night.