Water is a solvent, catalyst, lubricant, temperature & growth regulator, and mineral source and we all need it to live. All cells soak in it – though some tissues (such as muscle) have a higher water content than others (such as body fat).
And not drinking enough water to keep our bodies adequately hydrated is more common than you may think – especially during the warm spring and bright summer months. But I have great news! Changing this habit is one of the easiest ways to further support our health.
Adequate hydration is actually one of the three major pillars to support predictable and consistent digestive health – which, as you may know – can have far reaching effects on our overall health and feelings of wellbeing in general. If you’re interested to learn more about how your fluid consumption impacts digestion, we encourage you to check out our blog on the topic.
You may be wondering just how much fluid is enough for you. Though there are several methods to come up with a sounds approximation of your fluid needs, we like to use this one based on the amount of food consumed: 5 ounces of fluid for every 100 calories of food consumed. As a real life example – as this can be tricky and otherwise confusing to decipher – if you consume ~2000 calories per day, you should be aiming to ingest around 100 ounces of fluid (or ~12 eight ounce glasses) per day, not including food. Through our experience, this method has a high likelihood of estimating your fluid requirements for health and performance maximization.
However do take note women – normal changes in hormones with menstruation, pregnancy, and/ or menopause can significantly affect fluid balance (the relationship between fluid input and output).
As the method suggested above gives only an estimate, you’ll want to make sure you have an easy way to monitor your body’s hydration levels. We’ve got you covered here too! One of the best ways is to simply monitor your bathroom habits. Specifically, if you use the washroom four or more times per day and your urine is off-yellow in colour and clear in consistency, you are likely sufficiently hydrated. If you notice less frequent urination or dark/ cloudy urine for a day or two on end, increasing your fluid intake is a good first step to resolve this.
When it comes to getting those fluids in regularly, we recommend that you figure out how you prefer to consume them – habits do need to be reletively enjoyable for them to stick, remember.
- Do you like a bottle with a straw or a wide-mouthed top?
- Is decaf coffee and/or tea preferable?
- Or does warm water with lemon hit the spot for you?
- Iced water with fresh mint is another popular beverage to increase excitement around fluid intake.
Whatever your preference, we suggest you keep a water container or coffee/ tea thermos at your side as often as you can. Experience with this tactic proves we reach for fluids a lot more if we don’t have to get up to fill a glass.
One other key reason to drink up regularly – aside from supporting healthy and predictable digestion, strong immune health, and smoother body functioning overall – studies show that drinking water as well as eating water-rich foods (such as a leafy green salad or broth-based soup) before a meal can help decrease how much you eat during the meal. Additionally, ensuring you’re well hydrated can help prevent headaches, which can lead to stress eating and other less-desirable habits. When eating at restaurants, downing a few glasses of water and/or starting with a salad or soup appy is encouraged to provide some satiety before the main arrives. And if eating at home, why not give this simple hydrating salad a try:
Hydrating Food Inspired Recipe – Light & Crisp Greens, Apple, Feta Salad
Vegetarian and Gluten Free
Macros per Serving
Protein: 6 g
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Sugar: 11 g
Fibre: 5 g
1 cup (140 grams) apple, cut in small cubes (bright red for the most visual appeal)
1 cup (100 grams) celery, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup (60 grams) feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh mint, minced
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups romaine lettuce, finely diced
2 tsp olive oil
Combine apple, celery, feta cheese, vinegar, lemon juice, mint, and salt & pepper. Refrigerate for ~15 minutes. Mean while, prepare romaine lettuce and add to a large salad bowl. Combine all ingredients, add olive oil, toss. Enjoy!