Today we are going to focus on water and an important habit of health—hydration. Being adequately hydrated is foundational to good health. Our bodies are primarily made from water. Without enough of it, we experience dehydration and cannot thrive.
The symptoms of dehydration can be mild (such as dry mouth and lethargy), to serious (dizziness and confusion), to severe (a sharp drop in blood pressure that can result in seizures or shock).
Thankfully, proper hydration just takes a bit of mindfulness. Historically, access to adequate fluids and minerals was not always guaranteed. However, now that we generally have access to liquids, we sometimes forget to honor our fundamental need for hydration. How can you tell if you’re getting enough water in a day? There’s a simple and useful calculation.
What is the Formula for H2O Intake?
All you need to know is your weight in pounds. It’s reasonable that the amount of water a one-hundred-and-twenty-pound woman would require is different than the amount a man of two hundred and twenty pounds would require. Thankfully, the formula is simple.
Weight (in lbs) x .67 = ounces of water required to drink
For a 150 lb woman, she should drink 101 ounces of water in a day. For a 200 lb man, he should consume 134 ounces of H2O per day.
Adding Exercise into the Equation
But what about when you sweat?
Sweat is water lost during exercise or heat exposure to help the body maintain a stable temperature. When focusing on adequate hydration, you need to account for water lost due to sweating. We also deplete our bodies of minerals when we sweat.
For every 30 minutes of exercise, add an additional 12 ounces of water to your total from the above equation. To add back important minerals, consider adding a small pinch of Himalayan Pink Salts or a few drops of a trace mineral supplement to the additional water you drink.
Example: 150 lbs x .67 = 101 ounces. 45 minutes of exercise requires the addition of 18 ounces of water. 101 + 18 = 119 total ounces of water to drink that day.
That’s a Lot of Water
Drinking more than 100 ounces of anything can seem daunting. That’s a lot of water, and to be frank, water can be quite boring. But remember, water is in nearly everything we consume, in our food and in our beverages. Not all sources of water are created equal—soda is a less ideal option than iced tea or lemonade, which are less ideal than water itself. Here are some tips to keep you properly hydrated, and make your water a tastier option:
Have a 16-ounce glass of water after you wake up. You can also drink an additional 8 ounces before bedtime, but if you have issues waking at night due to a full bladder, you can skip the evening portion. Beginning and ending your day with this habit adds an easy 16-24 ounces to your total without even having to think about it. Keep a glass or container at your bedside to make this step as easy as possible. Also, add a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salts to your morning water intake.
Drink two 16 ounce glasses of water before you eat. The body sometimes confuses which signals are hunger and which are thirst. When we’re craving an afternoon snack, sometimes that’s our body trying to say we need more water. Drinking before a meal is a good way to ensure the thirst is out of the way so we can recognize true hunger before we begin to eat, and stop when we’ve reached satiety. Plus, that’s another 32 ounces in your water bank for the day.
Use a reusable bottle with measurements on the side. It’s sometimes easier to remember to refill your bottle four times than it is to track how many ounces you’ve had.
Give your H2O pizzazz with added flavor. Squeeze a lemon slice into your glass, or place a sprig of mint in it to refresh the flavor and fight the afternoon doldrums. There are some flavoring powders as well that can add some zing without added sugars or calories. Check the labels to ensure you know what you’re adding, but giving a little pep to a glass of water makes it that much easier to get your daily intake.
Dehydration can interfere with metabolism as well as weight loss, so it’s always best to be mindful of your hydration and get your daily allowance as regularly as you can. Your skin will be grateful, too.