Your Water Intake

June 8, 2009

Hey, cool guy or gal. Yeah, you, reading this blog. Tell me something…well, o.k., maybe keep this to yourself, but just answer this question. When you pee, is it a clear light yellow

Healthy color!

, or is it closer to being like the impenetrable yellow of a school bus?

Not so healthy tinkle color

If your answer was the former, then you likely get plenty of water for your body’s needs. If your answer was the latter, then you probably should drink more water.

Well, how much water do we need? Great question! The average adult needs roughly 10 and a half cups of water per day. Ok, before you come to the conclusion that there’s no way you can drink that much water in a day, consider that you get water from several sources. Those sources are:

* Food – fruits and vegetables are mostly water, i.e. > 90%; whole wheat bread is 35% water; hamburger beef is 54% water; whole milk is 87% water

* Liquids – of course this one is obvious. The average adult drinks about 5 cups of water per day.

* Metabolic water – your body produces water when it breaks down the food you eat to make energy. Believe it or not, this supplies around 14% of the water your body needs per day, assuming you’re sedentary.

If you’re active or you’re going to be exercising, your water needs will increase. Here are some guidelines for making sure you are well hydrated for your workouts.

1. Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups of water 2 to 3 hours before your workout

2. Drink another cup of water about 30 minutes before you exercise

3. For those that exercise intensely (e.g. running for an extended period of time), drink at most 4 cups per hour, at a rate of at most 1 cup every 15 minutes. Limiting water intake to these upper boundaries will protect you from “water intoxication”, or hyponatremia.

4. Again, for the high intensity folks out there, adding a little salt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 4 cups) to your water during exercise will protect against water intoxication.

5. Don’t eliminate salt from your diet


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