Hydration – It’s Essential!
Water – it covers most of the earth (71%) and comprises the majority of our bodies, (~65%) in an adult. Water is the engine of all life and in humans being correctly hydrated is essential for maintaining health and vitality. We can live for weeks without food but can survive only a few days without water.
Hydration is real time: If you’re short on hydration you are experiencing the negative effect at that moment. In other words being dehydrated has already affected your performance.
Because water is “everywhere” – There is water in the food we eat and in the beverages we drink. So it would seem that hydration – the absorption of water- should be handled, right? Maybe it is, but it’s worth checking for yourself.
Even though you can get your water from other sources – we’re looking at water (liquids you drink throughout the day) on its own as the majority of your daily hydration needs.
To help clarify just how much water we need to be healthily hydrated, there is a simple rule-of-thumb you can use to gauge how much water you need each day based on body weight. This calculation takes into account that you get about 40% of your daily requirement from the food you eat.
As this is a rule of thumb, you will most likely have to adjust your amount.
People living in hot and cold, dry climates and/or engaging in sustained physical work or athletic activity may require up to 1.5 to 2 times the baselines intake. Have the heat or air conditioner on? Both lower the relative humidity, so drink more.
A note on caffeinated drinks – perhaps the most common question about hydration regards caffeinated drinks due to their popularity. Caffeine has a somewhat diuretic effect so those drinks won’t count at 100% of their volume as part of your daily needs. Adjust your intake appropriately!
A note on thirst – We typically think that thirst is the best indicator of dehydration.
In fact – thirst a poor method of knowing when you are dehydrated – by the time you feel thirsty you are dehydrated to some degree! By that point you are already affected in a number of ways: lower physical energy, coordination and cognitive function! In other words every life activity is negatively affected by lack of hydration.
Body Feedback: Our bodies are constantly giving us real-time feedback on our state of being. Becoming aware of these signals is essential to maintaining health and performance. There are a number common yet subtle signs that you may be dehydrated, some that we may not associate as such.
Common body feedback when dehydrated: – physical fatigue, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, loss of attention, confusion, dizziness, headache and hunger.
Health habits: Consider that you already have a pattern of behavior, in what and how much you eat and drink each day. By engaging in this process you will be sensitizing yourself to your actual hydration level and needs.
As with anything new know it will take conscious effort on your part to adjust your daily intake.
Are you ready to begin? Let’s look at the Steps to find out your Hydration Level.
Your Hydration Worksheet
Now that you have your Hydration Number:
- Track how much liquid you drink throughout a day (jot it down)
- Do this for a couple of days so you can see your average intake each day
- Check the infographic – how many bottles of liquid (OZs) do you require daily, based on your bodyweight?
- Measure your intake over the course of a day to see if you are meeting your target
- Practice adjusting your water intake to match your hydration number
- Remember to drink throughout the day, rather than all at once.
- Gain the benefit of increased energy and mental acuity and health
Revive”2”Survive – Health and Sustainability Initiative
While you’re improving your personal hydration, take the chance “2” reduce the use of single use or [1 X plastic] bottles or containers. It’s easy to make a difference for yourself and the planet by using a quality recyclable and reusable flask.
if you don’t have a quality reusable flask you can purchase a LAKEN bottle to use as your personal hydration source. LAKEN (Spain) – the hydration choice for healthy active people for over 100 years.
Here are the bottles from Laken featured in the infographic. You can see which hydration number they correspond to for easy reference.
These are affiliate links – part of our Give Forward initiative – To learn more go to ZGS Marketplace
Geoff Weigand PDx founder – has over 35 years’ experience in maximizing performance and health – one of the world first pro elite rock climbers, a Cat 1 road cyclist, elite coach and human performance consultant and technical product designer. He was responsible for host innovations in applied training and recovery methods as well an integrated approach to mental performance for athletic, extreme outdoor and professional disciplines.
Performance Dynamix PDx specializes in providing consulting and custom coaching programs or anyone wanting maximize your own performance. We develop custom programs designed to help each person become the master of their own performances by addressing the process from a holistic and integrated perspective.
Geoff Weigand, Professional Rock climber, Olympic Athlete, Cat 1 Cyclist, Athletic and Performance Coach