Is eight glasses of water enough?

Water is the elixir of life. We have all heard it and yes, it is 100% correct. A significant part of your body is made up of water. In addition to a large part of your body being made up of water, several daily body functions use water. Don’t think water deserves so much credit? Consider these wet-and-wild facts.

• In a day, your lungs expel about two to four cups of water just through normal breathing (even more on a cold day).

• You can lose up to a cup of water if your feet sweat.

• In just six trips to the bathroom a day, you can lose about six cups of water.

• Your body can expel about two cups of water a day if you perspire (and that doesn’t include exercise-induced sweat).

For these reasons and many more, it’s obvious that you need to replenish your body with liquids regularly.

Okay, so if your body is losing all of this water every day, what do you have to do to replenish it? The best thing you can do is drink a little bit of water all day long. Try sipping down about four ounces of water every hour when you’re awake (a small glass). Take a water bottle with you when you’re driving, grab a glass of water before you sit down in front of the television, and bring something to drink when you go to that long meeting during your workday. If you don’t like the taste of water, try drinking ice-cold water or twist a lemon or lime in your water.

Now that you know how to get the water your body needs, let’s talk about how much water your body needs. Many experts say that drinking between eight and 10 glasses of water a day is a good rule of thumb. However, other factors, such as your body size, your body type (muscle holds more water than fat), your activity level, your age, and your diet, all play into the amount of water your body needs. If you have any questions about how much water your body needs or if you experience any symptoms of dehydration, touch base with your physician. Regardless, it’s probably safe to say that you are not drinking enough water.

Dehydration is one of the most common ways your body lets you know it’s not getting enough water. When dehydration occurs, your body has lost more fluids than it has taken in. This condition is not often life threatening, but it can have serious consequences in babies and older adults. Symptoms of dehydration include feeling dizzy or lightheaded, having a dry or sticky feeling in your mouth, or producing less urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, take a moment to rest and get a drink. It’s also a good idea to get out of the sun and relax for the rest of the day. If symptoms continue, contact your physician.

Can drinking more water really help you lose weight? Yup, sure can. See, our bodies are a heck of a lot smarter than we give it credit for. When you are low on water, your body will hold on to the water reserves it has for dear life. That will make you retain water more and more, the less your drink. This will create that bloating feeling and your weight will rise. So drink up and your body will trust you again, it will start to expel water more. You will bloat less, you will get rid of more toxins and look better (win, win, win).

Here’s the bottom line — your body needs water and it needs it every day, so try to keep a water bottle close by and refill it often. Your body will thank you for it.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-347-1707 or check out www.360fitness.ca for more information.

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