Dehydration. Everyone has it, especially in the winter. It appears in different ways for people. Some people get dry skin, which is very apparent in the winter time. Some people get tired or sleepy during the day. Some people have an increased thirst or a dry mouth. All of these are ways that your body is telling you to drink more water.
Our bodies are made up of about 50% to 60% water, which means we need to keep a ourselves hydrated. The water in our bodies keeps our joints moving easily, our skin smooth and our bodies working properly. The average person should be drinking about 11 cups or 90 fluid ounces a day. If you are an active person or an athlete, you should be drinking around 90 fl oz throughout the day, but then adding more fluid ounces before, during and after a workout. Hydration for an active person before, during and after should look like:
2-3 hours before exercise: 16 fluid ounces
15 minutes before exercise: 8 fluid ounces
During exercise: 4 fluid ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes (which is basically 2 to 3 large gulps of water)
After exercise: 16 to 20 fluid ounces for every pound lost*
*If exercise lasts longer than 60 minutes or is in high heat conditions, then the addition of a sports drink to your hydration after a workout is suggested.*
Now, you know why it is important to drink enough water, but how do you make that happen in a busy day? Whether you are busy during to work all day or busy being a college athlete, here are some tips to help keep you properly hydrated all day.
Starting off simple with carrying a water bottle with you so that you always have water available to you.
If you carry a bag, put a water bottle in your backpack or gym bag and keep filling it up throughout the day.
If you are traveling from home to work a lot, keep a water bottle at your office, in your car (if it's not in the winter months) and at home in the room where you spend most of your time.
Hate the taste of water or nonexistence of taste of water? Try adding some lemon or orange or cucumber to your water. Adding lemon or orange can also help you get some vitamin C into your diet. And cucumber is just plain refreshing!
At dinner or any meal really, have the first glass of liquids be water rather than milk or juice. Depending on the size of your glasses, this could count for at least 12-16 fluid ounces per meal.
At home, have a water bottle or a glass of water in each room that you spend time so there is always water within your reach.
Eating fruits and vegetables made mostly of water can help you keep your body hydrated, and plus: you get some vitamins and minerals! A few of those fruits and vegetables are: celery, watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Keeping hydrated throughout the day will help you attack the day feeling more awake and just overall, well. Share some ways that you keep hydrated throughout the day.
SCAN NCAA Performance Hydration handout