Our bodies are made up of up to 60% water, and drinking enough throughout the day is essential for having glowing skin, maintaining a healthy weight, and flushing toxins out of the body. It even affects our mood and our ability to learn. But getting enough fluids is much more than simply drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
We at Bright Side believe keeping track of your water intake isn’t easy, but it also doesn’t have to be complicated. So we came up with a list of mistakes that might be keeping you from staying properly hydrated.
1. You’re drinking water after your workouts.
While it’s true that drinking water after going to the gym helps with hydration, it’s also important to drink enough before and during exercise. If you start your workout almost dehydrated, you will lose even more fluid while you’re training, and it may be dangerous for your mental and physical health. But you don’t have to stick to just water to restore your fluid balance. Coconut drinks, black and green tea, and even chocolate milk will hydrate you just as well as water.
2. You think coffee and tea don’t count.
Your morning cup of coffee or tea can serve as a slightly hydrating beverage. Although these drinks mostly contain caffeine, they still add to the amount of fluids you get each day. Drinking about 3.5 cups of coffee per day will keep you as hydrated as drinking just water, according to a study.
3. You’re eating too little salt.
Although a high-sodium diet can dehydrate the body, sodium supports the fluid balance of the body. We naturally lose sodium and other trace elements through sweat, and both water and sodium need to be replaced.
4. You’re drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
This popular advice isn’t always accurate. How much water we need depends on different lifestyle factors, such as how physically active we are, what we eat, where we live, and more. To calculate the amount of water in liters your body needs daily, multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.033.
5. You’re drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.
We lose body fluids during sleep, and even if we drink enough before going to bed, we’ll feel thirsty by the next morning. But drinking plain water on an empty stomach isn’t the most effective way to hydrate. It is easier for our bodies to absorb and retain water when there are other nutrients present. So if you’re trying to keep your fluid balance, drink your water with a snack or have a glass of orange juice or milk instead.
6. You’re skimping on water during your workouts.
When we’re exercising, our bodies lose water through sweat and breathing. Staying hydrated during a workout is important to regulate your body temperature and blood pressure. Fitness experts recommend drinking 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
7. You’re forgetting about water-rich foods.
Have you been making any of these mistakes? How much water do you drink a day?