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Wellness Habits: Water

Its officially hot here in Bryan/College Station.

Just in case you didn't know. Like immediately start sweating at the thought of going outside. I'm pretty sure our water bill goes up just from the amount of showers I take and laundry I now have to do. Trying to stay fresh and clean in the Texas Summers is a feat in itself!

Speaking about water (like that segue?), one simple habit that immediately impacts health is... drum roll...

Drink water!

Fun fact: Pretty much all of the systems in the body require water. Its kind of important...

Water is helps dissolve and transport various substances, regulates body temperatures, provides minerals, and even helps in many growth processes. These are just a few of its functions within the body. Staying hydrated allows your body to function properly.

As the temperature outside rises, dehydration becomes more of a risk. A water loss of 0.5% of your body weight increases the strain on the heart. 0.5%! For a 150 lb individual, that is less than a pound of body weight. At only 5% of water loss you begin to experience heat exhaustion. You can see that it doesn't take much for our bodies to feel the strain of water loss. Therefore, proactive measures must be taken to stay hydrated

How much water do I need?

There are a lot of thoughts on this. Following body cues is a great start. Drink when you are thirsty. The only problem here is sometimes we mistake thirst feelings for hunger. And if you are working out, you will need to be more proactive and drink before and after workouts.

Another good way to figure this out is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For a 150 lb individual, this would be 75 oz of water or 9-10 cups. If you are more active or very sweaty, you may need to consume more to make up for losses.

Adequate water intake is huge! However, do not go by the thinking that if some water is good, more must be better. There is such a thing as too much water.

So what are some tips to drink more water?

  • Keep a water bottle on you at all times

  • If you have trouble remembering to drink, set a timer on your phone.

  • Drink a glass of water right upon waking

  • You will have most likely not had any fluids for (hopefully) 7-8 hours.

  • Drink a water at each meal

  • If you eat 3-4 meals and consume 8 oz at each, you already are at 24-32 oz!

  • Add some flavor

  • Now I'm not talking about the water additives that are full of sugar and a bunch of other junk. What I am referring to is fruit, such as lemons, limes, berries. If plain water is not your jam, try adding some fresh fruit to change it up!

  • If you are sweat a lot, you may need to replace electrolytes

  • One of my favorite products is Nuun electrolyte tablets. You can find these in most grocery stores.

Get outside. Be active this Summer! Just remember to stay hydrated while doing so. Your body will thank you for it!

Last week was all about creating healthy, sustainable habits. Water intake is a great one to start with. Over the next several weeks we will touch on other small habits that have a huge impact on your wellness. Stay tuned!

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