Water. Suck it up!
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or are just involved in more outdoor activities this summer, it’s vital to remember to DRINK MORE WATER.
Fluid intake is huge for those trying to lose weight. Of course, there are many fluids to hydrate with, but since your body is 60% water, I personally believe plain water is king. Working with the overweight population a great deal, I often hear “I hate water!” If you are one of these people, I am worried about your future in the weight control department. Sodas are your enemy: diet sodas have been linked to weight GAIN, and “high test” sodas are nothing but sugar. If you need a flavorful burst every time something goes in your mouth, it is going to be tough to control the calories. So get used to carrying a bottle of water with you and, literally, “suck it up.”
A local hospital based weight loss program recommends 80 oz. per day. Patients of this program feel like they are swimming when they drink this much water, but it pales in comparison to the guidelines of other medically based resources. According to the Institute of Medicine, men should drink 125 oz. and women should drink 91 oz. per day, and this can increase to 336 oz. if activities with high sweat loss are performed.
The same advice goes for participating in outdoor activities now that the weather has warmed up. Dehydration is a very real danger. While most people rely on thirst as an indicator for intake of fluids, it has been proven not to be an accurate indicator. A huge flaw in the design of human beings.
By the time you are thirsty, it is too late, your body has already experienced significant fluid loss. Throw in the mix a little sweat on the hot, humid summer days in Cincinnati, and it is easy to find yourself with a fluid deficit and in need of a hydrating stimulus package.
As we age thirst becomes an even poorer indicator of fluid status so adequate water intake is especially important for the mature adult. We can survive losses of up to 40% of our body weight in fat, carbohydrate, and protein, but a water loss of 9% to 12% of body weight can be fatal.
Dehydration caused by failing to replace fluids during activities also slows the body’s ability to dissipate heat, which can lead to a strain on the heart and possibly heat stroke. It is recommended to replace fluids at the rate for which they are lost. This can be accomplished by simply weighing yourself before and after your activity and replace the weight lost with the same amount of water. One quart of water weighs about two pounds.
One way is to monitor your fluid status is to look at the color of your urine first thing in the morning. If it is more the color of apple juice than that of lemonade, you may be dehydrated. Now you know why your pee is so dark after a night of enjoying the oh so tasty, but oh so dehydrating, alcoholic beverages!
The best advice I have is: DRINK MORE WATER. I know life is so rough and totally unfair, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and suck up that nasty fluid. I hope you can endure the trauma it causes, and my blatant sarcasm.