Hydration For All!
Shannon Linberg, ACSM-EP
“The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.” (Staff, 2020) As the summer begins to come to an end, it may become easier and easier to forget to grab our water bottle on the way out the door. The cooling temperatures can have us opting for more coffee or other hot drinks, forgetting about our basic daily hydration needs. It is easy to think of drinking water when the sun is hot and we’re dehydrating so quickly, but our bodies do not stop needing water in the cooler months of the year. Healthy hydration is a year-long need.
Hydration has an impact in so many different aspects of our lives. It effects our energy levels, our cognition, our moods, and our weight fluctuations, among other things. It is such a simple act that we can do to take care of our bodies. Drinking water is an easy step towards a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.
The decision to drink water or not can have a large impact on your energy levels for the day. Studies have shown that dehydration is “consistently associated with greater fatigue and lower alertness” (Liska, et al., 2019). Dehydration has also been shown “to have detrimental effects on short-term memory and visual perceptual abilities, whereas water consumption can improve cognitive performance, particularly visual attention and mood” (Liska, et al., 2019). We feel better, focus more clearly, and have better emotional states when we are well-hydrated. Our brains thank us when we drink enough water!
Being well hydrated also has a significant impact on our ability to lose weight. Hydration has been linked to our bodies’ ability to break down fats and staying well hydrated may keep us feeling fuller and prevent us from over-eating. Studies showed that adding water into routines had positive impacts on weight-loss endeavors of those that were trying to lose weight. (Liska, et al., 2019)
Overall, keeping our bodies well-hydrated is one of the simplest ways that we can work towards being healthier, happier versions of ourselves. It will improve our mood, our energy levels, and even our body composition! So next time you go to reach for a carbonated beverage, maybe think of refilling your water bottle instead, and leave it where you’ll remember to fill it before you start your day.
Liska, D., Mah, E., Brisbois, T., Barrios, P. L., Baker, L. B., & Spriet, L. L. (2019). Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomees in the General Population. nutrients.
Perrier, E. T. (2017). Shifting Focus: From Hydration for Performance to Hydration for Health. Nutrition & Metabolism, 4-12.
Staff, M. C. (2020, October 14). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from mayoclinic.org: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256