03 Jun Drink Up!
While wearing a mask all day, do you forget to drink liquids especially water? With the coronavirus pandemic, our daily routines have changed. One of the most frequent things I hear from friends, family, members, patients, etc. is that now with safety precautions we as a whole aren’t drinking enough healthy liquids throughout the day.
How much water do we need? That’s a great question, with a not so simple answer. Age, gender, activity level, and overall health impact how much water is needed each day. Women need more water during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as congestive heart failure or renal disease, also have different fluid needs.
According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine an adequate daily fluid intake is:
Men: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters)
Women: About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters)
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other drinks, and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake comes from food. For a more personalized recommendation reach out to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
A quick way to check to see if you are drinking enough fluids is to check your urine color. If you are well hydrated your urine will be a pale yellow color. You need to increase your fluid intake if the urine is a dark yellow or amber color.
A few tips to help remind you to stay hydrated are to:
Use your phone. There are many free and low cost apps available to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
Make it a habit. Every time you check email, social media, or a text message, take a drink of water.
Track yourself. Use a refillable water bottle with measurements on it. This may help prevent you from losing track of the amount you drink each day.
Split your fluid up throughout the day. Aim for drinking one cup of water every hour while you are awake until you reach your recommended fluid amount.
Change it up. If you don’t love the taste of plain water, try flavored seltzer water, change the temperature of the water-add ice cubes or fill a couple bottles in the morning and wait to drink one when it is at room temperature, or add natural flavors such as berries, mint, ginger, or cucumber to your water.
Be aware. Pay attention to your body, if you’re thirsty, stop and drink water.
Stay committed. Instead of choosing coffee, sweet tea, or a soft drink; opt for water when going through a drive thru, getting take out, or sitting down for your meal.
Drinking an appropriate amount of calorie free beverages will help with your energy levels, weight management, and overall health.