By Sofia Villagomez, Nutrition and Wellness Program Supervisor
Water is involved in almost every process in our body and is a major component in our cells, blood, or lubricating our joints and tissues like muscles. In total, human bodies are up to 60% water!
Fluid Balance: Water In and Out
Our thirst mechanism prompts us to drink water whenever our body signals its fluids are out of balance. Thirst can be triggered by eating salty foods, sweating, if we’ve lost blood, or when our fluid intake is too low for normal body functions.
Because we lose water gradually during our day, it is important to drink water regularly to keep our fluids balanced. Drinking between 9 and 13 cups of water per day, gives us the best chance to get the amount we need. Our total water needs increase for: bigger bodies, when we are more active, when we are sick, and as the weather gets hotter.
How do we start drinking more water? By rethinking our drinks! We can get water from almost any beverage we drink, but drinking water itself is always the best option for hydrating and quenching our thirst. Here are some tips:
- Dedicate a bottle or cup to drink your water from. If you have a reusable bottle to carry around throughout your day, they are a great option for tracking your water intake. If you don’t want to purchase a new bottle you can also recycle a plastic water bottle you already finished by refilling it. If a bottle doesn’t seem like the best option, a cup you already have in your house can be dedicated to help you stay on track all day.
- Set goals for yourself. Once you have your bottle or cup, set a goal for how much water you want to drink per day. Remember between 9 and 13 cups (1 cup = 8oz) is a general range from most people. You can measure the amount of water that fits in your vessel with a measuring cup and this can help you understand how much water each fill will give you. Remember your goal should be accomplished throughout the day to stay hydrated. Drinking all your water for the day at once will hydrate you a little bit, but probably hurt your stomach a lot.
- Get creative! Drinking plain water can be hard for people who especially love the flavor of other beverages. But just because it’s water, doesn’t mean we can’t make it tasty by adding fresh flavors we love!
➤ Herbal: add watermelon and basil; cucumber, lime and mint; grapefruit and rosemary ➤ Sweet: blend 2 cups watermelon and 2 cups cold water; add sliced strawberries and cucumber; drop frozen mixed berries into water to add flavor and keep cool.
➤ Tangy: add sliced lemon and cucumbers; oranges and blueberries; or add 1 cup 100% cranberry juice to 4 cups seltzer water with a squeeze of lime.
➤ Tropical: mix peeled and sliced kiwis with sliced strawberries; blend 4 cups 100% pineapple juice, 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, ¼ c fresh lemon juice and ½ c water with ice; For the very brave try mixing mango and jalapeño slices
There are many ways to get more water into our day the important thing is just finding the way that works best for you! Click here to learn more or follow us on social media for more tips this month.