Up Your Water When you up Your Activity

by Cathy Clements, Nutritionist & Life Coach, NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS

The weather has turned warm or hot, depending on your perspective, and we live at a higher elevation. So, are you drinking enough water?

A couple of ways to check: Journaling your food, water and activity, and checking your urine when you use the toilet. If it’s clear, you are probably hydrated. If there is color, you can drink more.

Hydrating replaces body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling and eliminating waste. On average, we lose and need to replace somewhere between 2 to 3 quarts of water daily. Those amounts are prior to activities like pickleball, hiking or walking your dog.

Every part of your body needs water to work properly. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health and sleep. Making sure you get enough water every day is an important step in maintaining your health.

Many of the foods we eat are composed of large amounts of water. Foods with high water content include greens and most fruits and vegetables.

We have been told we should drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. That is a standard that, if you are active, is actually too little. Everyone is different and will have different needs.

Another way to look at your water intake can be, half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you are active, then add 8 to 16 ounces for every half hour, depending on the intensity of the activity.

I purposefully don’t count coffee, tea or sodas as water intake, although, technically there is some. Most of these liquids also contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and causes you to urinate more frequently.

Some ways to remind yourself to stay hydrated or to keep drinking water are:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Drink water before, during and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger.

Drinking water can additionally help with weight loss. So, if your goals are to stay active and lose a little weight, stay hydrated!