Staying Hydrated This Summer
Water is required for essentially every single metabolic process in our bodies. Without it, we simply cannot function.
Unfortunately, our thirst mechanism isn’t always the best indicator of when we should reach for our water bottles. So the question then becomes, how do I know when to drink water…and how much water should I be drinking?
The standard that I find to be most accurate is to consume between .5-1 ounce(s) of water per pound of our body weight (if you are 150 pounds, 75-150 ounces per day). To figure out where you fall within this range, consider your:
- Activity level (this correlates with water lost through respiration and perspiration)
- Alcohol and caffeine consumption
- External environment (temperature, humidity, etc.)
- Individual characteristics (your size, how much you sweat, etc.)
From here, find an amount that seems fitting for you and track this daily. Keep in mind, however, that your consumption may vary depending on the day (and the factors listed above).
From a musculoskeletal perspective, I’ve found this to be a game changer in terms of the work that I do. Twice in one week I heard the analogy that a dehydrated muscle is like trying to work with a piece of beef jerky, while a hydrated muscle is similar to working with a filet (sort of a disturbing comparison, but you get the idea). If you are doing any sort of movement training and wondering why you are constantly stiff and tight, this may have more of an impact than you think.
Let’s stay hydrated and healthy this summer!
Stephanie Spoto, CSCS