Deserts to Oceans: The Search for Hydration

Cliff Notes:

1... Hydration is massively important for the health of your body.

2... We lose water through daily processes, so keeping up with drinking fluids and eating fruits and vegetables helps keep us healthy

3... Between 16 and 13 cups of water for men, and 11 and 9 cups for women is recommended.

4... Tracking your water and food will give you a great start on your search for hydration.


Water… we all drink it. If you don’t, by this point, you probably resemble a beautiful, new, fresh out the wrapper sponge. Dry as the Sahara. We need water. It’s essential to many biological processes that happen in our body and is a main component of each cell in our body. 

When water is so important, it’s helpful to understand how much water you should aim to drink, and what factors to take in to account when measuring the water you already consume. Drop the dowsing rod! Here are some things to think about on your search for water.

1… Track your water, and food.

If you feel any of these symptoms you should start being more mindful of how much liquid you ingest:

thirst;

dry skin;

fatigue and weakness;

increased body temperature;

muscle cramping;

headaches;

nausea;

darker-coloured urine;

dry mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes).

Tracking how much fluid you take in every day is a great start to tackling a water deficiency.

2… Recommendations

According to Precision Nutrition, “For men, an average of 16 cups of water a day from fluid and non-fluid sources (e.g. fruits and vegetables) is adequate; for women, an average of 11 cups.” 

The Mayo Clinic seconds these recommendations saying, “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.”

This may seem like a daunting amount, but in the beginning, adding water slowly into your diet is optimal for absorption. If you go from 0-60, you’re body isn’t primed to take in this new influx of liquid, and you just end up in the bathroom a lot. 

3… Water is sneaky

You’re taking in water on a daily basis. Even if you don’t go for the water cooler, you’re getting liquids from other sources. Do you drink coffee or tea? Do you eat every day? There is water in your food, and even though your iced tea isn’t Poland Spring brand, it’s still giving you some of the water you need to sustain life. Like Precision Nutrition sited, you’re getting liquid from “non-fluid sources” i.e. fruits and vegetables.

2… 2/3 of your cells are made of water.

Fun fact, you’re made of cells. Bazillions of them (science). Cells execute processes from digestion and absorption of nutrients, maintaining your heart beat and helping you think. Water assists with the chemical processes that make all of these actions possible. Without water, these process will breakdown.

5… Water Comes and Goes

Water leaves our body through sweat, urination and bowel movements. Even when we breathe. If water’s escaping us when we’re just living, physical activity is another factor adding to dehydration. Precision Nutrition added:

“Indeed, dehydration of as little as 1% body weight (2 lb for a 200 lb person) is enough to reduce both endurance and strength performance — as well as cognitive performance.”

If you already workout, make sure you hydrate during. If not, be sure to eat soon after you exercise because food helps with the absorption of water as well. Then, you’re getting the nutrition you need, plus rehydration. Pretty cool!

Thankfully, living in an industrialized country, water is readily available to us. Water is one of the simplest thing you can add to your diet to make you healthier. Remember, it makes up 2/3 of all of your cells. A healthier cell is a healthier you. Start tracking your water and adding it slowly into your regular routine. Work towards hitting the guidelines recommended by Precision Nutrition and The Institute of Medicine and hopefully you’ll start to feel the effects in no time!

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