Stay hydrated

Love your water! 6 tips for staying hydrated

By Penny Fevergeon, RD, MS, Optum Dietitian

Many people do not realize that water makes up 60 percent of your body weight and is essential for your health. It is necessary for the body’s metabolism and normal functioning. Water is also needed to create urine to get rid of toxins from the blood and to regulate internal body temperature. When you are dehydrated, your body loses more fluid than it takes in. It is important to learn how to keep your body appropriately hydrated.

How much water do you need each day?

The amount of water you need each day varies and depends on many factors, including your health, how active you are, and where you live. A general recommendation for water and other drinks is to have at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. When you exercise, your body needs more water to regulate body temperature and other bodily functions.

Tips to stop dehydration

  • Do not use your thirst as a guide because you may not feel thirsty until you are on your way to dehydration. Try to drink a glass of water or other calorie-free beverage in between and during meals.
  • Always drink water before, during, and after exercise. Take a container of water with you when you exercise and try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes. Drink 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water for short bouts of exercise.
  • Use a sports drink if you will be exercising for longer than one hour. This may be crucial to replace important nutrients lost in sweat.
  • Do not drink coffee, colas, or other drinks that contain caffeine. They increase urine output and make you dehydrate faster.
  • Alcohol, including beer and wine, can increase dehydration.
  • Stop working outdoors or exercising if you feel dizzy, light headed or very tired.
Remember, to stay hydrated and healthy, water is still your best bet! It is calorie-free and inexpensive. Speak with a Optum medical professional today to discuss how much water you should consume.

This site does not provide medical advice. This website is for informational purposes only.