Water is essential to the human body.
While the body can last up to six weeks without food, it can last only one week without water. Water regulates body temperature, protects and cushions vital organs, removes waste, and converts food into energy, making it a crucial element of proper body functioning.
A general rule is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day (1 glass = 8 ounces; 8 glasses = 64 ounces), depending on your activity level. And don’t wait until you are thirsty: Thirst is a sign of dehydration, so if you feel thirsty, your body is already slightly dehydrated.
The International Bottled Water Association has created a hydration calculator to assess if you are drinking enough water to stay healthy.
What is hydration, and why is it important to my health?
Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through daily sweating, exhaling and elimination. Adequate hydration, along with regular exercise, is part of a healthy lifestyle and is important to maintaining good health. Here are a few reasons why water is vital to proper hydration:
- The brain is 75% water
- Water carries nutrients & oxygen to all body cells
- Muscles are 70-75% water
- Helps convert food into energy
- Protects and cushions vital organs & joints
- Regulates body temperature
- Moistens oxygen for breathing
How much water should I drink every day?
The answer depends on your body weight and activity level. The minimum recommended daily requirement for water intake is 64 oz. per person, per day. The chart below illustrates minimum daily requirements for water based on individual activity levels.
What about when it’s cold? Do I need to drink as much water?
Absolutely. You may not feel as thirsty as you do when it’s hot, but you still lose water through perspiration. Also, you lose fluids through exhaled air. When cold, dry air is inhaled, it is warmed and moistened in the lungs and exhaled as warm, humid air. This process makes intense demands on the body’s water supply. To prevent excessive fluid loss and dehydration in the winter, drink plenty of water.
Can I tell how much water my body needs by how much I sweat?
No. Sweat is not an accurate indicator of dehydration as the amount a person sweats varies depending on their environment, clothing, temperature, and activity level. To be safe, make sure you follow these guidelines (see chart below) on how much water to drink when exercising.
|Weight (in pounds)||Light Activity||Moderate Activity||Strenuous Activity|
|115||72 oz.||76 oz.||80 oz.|
|125||72 oz.||80 oz.||88 oz.|
|150||72 oz.||80 oz.||92 oz.|
|175||76 oz.||84 oz.||100 oz.|
|200||76 oz.||88 oz.||106 oz.|
Drinking enough water when exercising is key to feeling good and performing at your best. Following are easy ways to incorporate water into your daily exercise schedule.
- Equip your bicycle with a bottle holder.
- If exercising at home, take frequent water breaks.
- Buy bottled water that comes with a sports cap so you can take it with you.
- Freeze a bottle of water overnight to have cold water all day.
- Bring a bottle of water with you to the gym and drink before and after your workout.
- During your workout, try to take a drink every five to ten minutes.
Can I drink soft drinks to rehydrate?
No. The caffeine found in many soft drinks acts as a diuretic and depletes your body of fluids rather than replenishing them.
What should I drink?
Many experts agree that water is the best way to replenish fluids when you exercise. It enters the system quickly, is easy to obtain, and reduces dehydration associated with heavy sweating. Therefore, water is an excellent choice to help keep you properly hydrated.
The better your water tastes, the more you will drink, and many people prefer the taste of bottled water to tap as it doesn’t contain chlorine, which sometimes gives tap water an off-taste.
Because Crystal Springs Bottled Water® is federally regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you can feel confident that it is safe and of the highest quality.