Human beings consist of 55-78% water. You have probably heard before that you should have at least 8 cups of water per day to keep your body hydrated and functioning well, but the reality is that the majority of people get nowhere near this amount. In a survey of office workers, a mere 3 cups of just water was found to be the average intake for their day. More mobile working positions were found to average only 5 cups of water throughout the day. This of course does not include coffee, sports drinks, pop, or juice, which are all items that do not provide as much hydration to the body as drinking clean water.
The benefits of water for the human body are numerous. It promotes blood flow, detoxifies the organs, transports nutrients, regulates body temperature, aids in metabolism, and helps with the absorption of nutrients. Our brains are even 90% water, so staying hydrated can assist with thought process, awareness and cognition. These benefits alone should be more than enough to get anyone thinking about their hydration. But is that recommended 8 cups of water per day really enough?
The recommended daily amount for water intake is actually based on a person who partakes in minimal physical activity, and is of moderate stature. This means that anyone who participates in activity for more than 30 minutes a day, or is large in stature should be consuming much greater amounts of water throughout the day. Water intake also depends on food selection (fresh fruit and vegetables are mostly water by weight), the intensity and volume of activity involved in, the temperature and humidity, and individual sweat rates. To say the least, 8 cups of water in a day is the bare minimum for a mostly sedentary person who does not even need to consider any of these factors.
For anyone involved in activity, the amount needed increases drastically. It is recommended to have at least 4-6 cups of water prior to training, and to continue drinking regularly during activity. If you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated! After activity, it is important to rehydrate as well. An easy way to tell how much to rehydrate after activity is through weight. Water is heavy, so for every pound of weight lost during activity you lose approximately 3 cups of water. A big thing that many people are doing now is drinking sports drinks while they are active. While this provides valuable electrolytes and sugars to keep you going, these drinks do not replace water, and should be taken with water to ensure proper circulation.
So now that you are once again aware of the importance of water to your body, it is time to implement some strategies to get yourself to drink more of it. Carrying a water bottle around everywhere you go is a good way to start. If you are working at your desk, have a cup of water with you. Once it is empty, go refill it. This gives you a break from your seated position, and keeps you hydrated. If you do not like the taste of water, there are some electrolyte flavoring drops that add a fruity taste to the water. Try a number of things to get yourself consistently drinking more than 8 cups of water each day, and always remember that for us, water is life.
As founder of Ivanco Fitness, my promise is to ensure your journey in fitness is unlocked and uplifted. It was the summer of 2012 and I was burnt out - I had spent over 10,000 hours personally training clients through rehabilitation to health, and from health to strength. Young and old and in between, I worked with these individuals to help them create their best version of themselves. While this brought me much joy, I was stressed, tired, and knew I was limited to only a small group of people I could help in this way. I had worked with other coaches along the way, and realized it was time to build a team and create a system that would allow talented coaches to create meaningful connections with those who seek to uplift their lives through physical training. Having brought the right people on board, Ivanco now works as a team of trainers, kinesiologists, holistic nutritionists and administrative staff to provide a more streamlined and versatile experience than an independent trainer could offer. Yours in health, Ivan.