THE ESSENTIALS OF PROPER HYDRATION
Don’t underestimate the importance of drinking enough H2O. Nearly two-thirds of the human body is water. Fluids are essential for your body to function properly.
Functions of water in the body:
-controls body temperature
-carries nutrients around the body
-cushions organs and JOINTS
-rids our body of waste
-keeps bowels regular
So how much should we drink?
Canada’s food guide recommends:
3 L for men 19 years old and over each day
2.2 L for women 19 years old and over each day
They caution that this is only a general guideline as fluid intake should increase during hot and humid weather and with physical activity.
What can we drink?
Water – Best Choice
Add a slice of lemon or lime for variety
Fruit or Vegetable Juice – 100% Real Juice Only
-limit your intake of fruit juices since they are high in calories and low in fibre – eat the fruit instead
-avoid fruit ‘drinks’, ‘punches’, ‘cocktails’ or beverages as they have added sugar and fewer nutrients
-celery, cucumber, leafy greens – just to name a few – are also a great way to reach your daily fluid intake
Milk/ Fortified Rice or Soy Beverages
-look for less than 2% milk fat
Broth and Soups – Homemade Only
-canned and dehydrated broths and soups should be avoided as they are too high in sodium
Sports Drinks – Not Necessary
-water and a healthy diet will replace water and minerals lost during exercise so sports drinks are not necessary to keep hydrated during exercise
-elite athletes may benefit from sports drinks during extended periods of exercise. Check with your Sports Medicine Doctor
Tea and Coffee
-limit caffeine intake to about 400 mg per day – about 750 ml
-limit or eliminate the sugar and cream
-limit or eliminate specialty coffees or teas as they can be very high in sugar
Your body loses water by sweating, breathing and getting rid of waste. If you lose more fluid than you take in, you get dehydrated. You can become dehydrated even before you feel thirsty.
TIP: If your urine is light yellow and clear it usually means that you are well hydrated. Dark yellow, strong smelling urine is a sign of dehydration.
For more information regarding hydration and diet, visit a health care professional or contact ASMP.