Many dieticians have been recommending that we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day and 9 to 13 if you exercise. Here is where that number comes from:
- You typically lose about 10 cups of water per day
- 2 cups to sweating and evaporation,
- 2 cups to breathing, and
- 6 cups to waste removal.
You can replace up to 2 cups through the water in the foods you eat, but you have to make up the remaining 8 cups by drinking fluids, water being the best choice.
Your fluid intake can come from many sources, as outlined in the following list:
- Water: Water is the best source to get your fluids. It is critical for the proper functioning of your organs. Keep a water bottle with you at all times: in your car, at your workstation and in any convenient place within your reach.
- Juice: Pure orange juice is rich in potassium, vitamin C and other important vitamins. However, it is also high in calories. It is recommended that eating the whole fruit is better than drinking one small glass of orange juice. Eating the whole fruit also gives you the additional nutrition which maybe loose during the process of extracting the juice from the fruits.
- Sports beverages: Sports beverages could include Gatorade, Powerade, Accelerade and others. The disadvantage is that sports beverages are pretty high in calories and would cause you to gain weigh when you get in the habit of drinking too much. When you feel that you need to include a sports beverage after your workout then try to limit your intake of sports beverages to 12 ounces just after you finish exercising. One way to reduce the amount of calories and sugar content in the beverage is to dilute it with water. When shopping for the sport beverages buy in bulk to save some money.
- Coffee and tea: Coffee and tea are hot, tasty beverages. You could count coffee and tea in your daily total of 8 glasses of water. Caffeine in the coffee and tea can have a dehydrating effect on your body and it is good to limit the number of cups you drink.
- Low-fat or nonfat milk: Two or three glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk are an excellent source of calcium, but you may not be able to stomach a glass of milk right after working out. The other alternative is to drink a glass of warm skim milk just before bed.
It is not a good idea to rely on thirst to tell you when your need to drink. By the time your mouth feels parched, you are already mildly dehydrated. Prevent dehydration by drinking all day long. Keep a water bottle at your desk and always carry a bottle when you work out. You know that you are not drinking enough of water if your urine is dark and scanty rather than clear and plentiful. Keep in mind that vitamin supplements can make your urine dark or fluorescent yellow.