More than half of our body is water. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because we lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. Your skin will look healthier and you’ll have more energy when you are properly hydrated.
The Mayo Clinic recently came up with a nifty formula to determine how much water we should be drinking per day:
Step 1: Take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by 2.2.
Step 2: Multiply that number by your age.
Step 3: Divide that sum by 28.3.
Step 4: Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day.
Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.
The American College of Sports Medicine reports that you should drink an extra 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.
I tend to stay away from fruit juices because of their high sugar content, but they do contain a decent percentage of water. However, you don’t get the benefit of the fiber from the fruit when drinking fruit juices.
Coffee has water in it obviously as well; however it’s a diuretic so be mindful. Recent research shows that moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle. In the study, people who were drinking coffee tended to have lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles and better glucose control compared with those who weren’t. I personally drink 2 cups of dark roast black coffee every morning while doing a 30-minute meditation to get ready for the day. And did you know dark roast has less caffeine then light roast coffee?
Tea has water in it too, and like coffee it’s a diuretic. Studies have shown tea can help protect your teeth and your heart, as well as possibly even helping to stave off cancer. The type of tea you drink can make a difference. All non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The amount of time the leaves are processed determines whether you end up with a green, black or oolong tea. The green teas are the least processed and tend to have the highest amounts of the healthy polyphenols, and the only type that contain the polyphenol, catechin, which is why many studies have been done using only green teas. Certain herbal teas are known for their medicinal values, including soothing the digestive system.
Wine actually has a decent amount of water in it too, but like coffee and tea it’s a diuretic. Studies show wine can protect our hearts when consumed in moderation — defined as up to one drink per day for women, and up to two drinks per day for men. US dietary guidelines define five ounces of wine as being considered one drink. According to Blue Zones, (a human society and culture development concept that describes the characteristic lifestyles and the environments of the world’s longest-lived people), the people in four original Blue Zone areas drink wine moderately and regularly. The trick is to drink one to two glasses per day with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 glasses on Saturday night.
Jack Witt is a Los Angeles based Health and Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker , Healthy Community Organizer and Active Travel Specialist. His other websites include www.ActiveWorldJourneys.com and www.HiketheHolyLand.com and www.SilverSailings.com