As a fitness professional I constantly preach “Drink Your Water.” My rule of thumb is take your body weight and divide it in half, that is how many ounces you should drink a day. I am never without my water bottle and just writing about drinking water makes me thirsty.
Recently I had my students use a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) device to measure their total body water (TBW). I decided to use myself as an example, and much to my surprise I came up as dehydrated. How could that happen I drink water all day long?? I know that BIA is not a completely true reading and can have a 3%-4% variable. I used the device for the next few weeks at different times of the day, and sometimes at the same time each day, still coming up as dehydrated.
I started to keep a log of the beverages I was drinking throughout the day and most days I averaged 80 oz. of water, more than ½ my body weight in ounces. Not until I logged the liquids, I consumed each day, did I realize how much additional water I actually needed to consume in result of the other beverages that I drank.
Most days my journal looked like this:
7:00am - 8 oz water
7:15am - 16oz coffee
Before 1:00 pm - 3 16oz water bottles
1:00 pm -16 oz Kombucha
Between 2:00 pm & 3:00pm - 8 oz water
5:00pm - 16oz water with dinner
9:00 pm - either a glass of wine or a Truly spiked seltzer (sometimes two)
11:15 - 4 oz water before bed
I exercise about 10 hours a week and know how important water intake is, but I did not consider that for every cup of coffee you drink you need to replenish your water intake by 2 additional cups. After consuming any caffeine beverages you need to replenish by 2 and for any consumed alcohol you also need to replace 2-1. My coffee, Kombucha and alcohol consumption alone put me at an extra 96 oz on top of the 72 oz needed for my daily intake. This now puts me at 168oz a day… that's a lot of water. After changing and rearranging my fluid intake (less caffeine and alcohol), I am on my way to optimal hydration.
Just a few facts
- Adequate fluid intake for an adult male is 3.7 liters a day and for an adult female it is 2.7 liters a day (or ½ your bodyweight in ounces a day)
- Remember for every caffeinated drink or alcoholic beverage replace 2-1 with water.
Limit caffeine to 500-600 milligrams a day. Limit alcohol 3-5 drinks per week or less.
- Do not drink water with your meals- drink a half hour before your meal and one hour after your meal. Water with meals messes with your digestive enzymes. Try to space your water throughout the day.
- After an hour of exercise make sure to replenish your body with electrolytes. I add electrolytes to everything I drink. Even if you are not exercising or drinking enough water, if you add the electrolytes it makes the water you are drinking more effective. Electrolytes are trace minerals and help absorb water into the muscle cells making them more functional.
- Your body is 60%-80% water and muscles 75% water, even a 2% deficit can affect mental and physical health. By drinking the right amount of water, you keep the lymphatic system clean and flowing constantly this rids the toxins from your body.
Too much water: Your kidneys can eliminate 5.3-7.4 gallons of water daily but cannot rid more than 27-33 oz per hour. Space your drinks throughout the day.
Hyponatremia (aka water intoxication) - this can occur when consuming as little as 3 liters of water within a short period of time. When too much plain water is consumed in a short about of time it causes the sodium levels in your body to become diluted. Your water levels rise, and cells begin to swell this cause mild consequence to deadly consequences. Space your water intake throughout the day and remember to add your electrolytes
My favorite electrolytes are TB12 they have 72 trace minerals. I add them to everything I drink, except my coffee, and I see a huge change in the way look and feel. I have a lot more energy, I have actually lost some weight and my skin has never been better. My feet and toes are not cramping up during Pilates and my fitness levels are on a rise. I don't feel like I'm in that slump anymore.
Recipe for an all-natural electrolyte hydrator you can try at home
¼ tsp of sea salt (Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salts)
¼ cup of lemon juice
¼ cup of lime juice
1 ½ cups of unsweetened coconut water
¼ celery juice
2 cups of cold water
Electrolytes = Sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphate and magnesium are a few examples