How many of you remember the slogan “drink 8 glasses of water each day?” Although this was wise for many people, one recommendation does not fit all. Consider the five-year-old child for whom 8 glasses would be too many, and the tall man weighing 300 pounds for whom 8 glasses would not be enough. What amount is reasonable for each individual, when should you hydrate, what counts as hydration, and when should you increase hydration? We must consider these four things to understand how to properly hydrate your body.
Today, most nutritionists recommend that one drink half their weight in fluid ounces daily. So if I weigh 150 pounds, I would need to drink 75 ounces each day. That’s actually 9 ½ glasses each day. Some wellness coaches are actually recommending that each adult drink a minimum of one gallon of water daily. This regimen requires you to be close to a bathroom!
It’s best that you begin your day with 1-2 glasses of water to hydrate your body after a long night of no hydration. This jumpstarts your organs and fills your body with this life-giving nutrient. Train yourself to reach for this water before you grab that first cup of coffee. Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal, as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients. Don’t drink too close to bedtime to prevent having to get up in the middle of your sleep cycle. Gage what works for you.
What counts as hydration?
Of course water counts! So does milk, 100 percent juice, and herbal teas. Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and soda do not count since they are diuretics that pull water out of the body. Alcoholic drinks also do not count as hydration for the same reason. Smoothies count as increased hydration. Yippee! Eating certain fruits and vegetables count due to their high water content such as:
When to increase hydration?
Your body needs additional hydration when you are exercising or in warm temperatures that make you sweat, you are at a higher altitude, you feel the flu or a cold coming on, you are taking prescription drugs that have dehydration as a side effect, and when you are pregnant or nursing. For those undergoing chemo, increased hydration is advised to ensure the chemo gets to every cell and your excretory systems can remove the trash afterward.
Once you come up with a hydration plan, it will become a habit that will benefit every cell and system in your body for the rest of your life. And the best thing is— it doesn’t cost much to properly hydrate your body. Some of the best things in life are still free.
What’s your favorite way to provide hydration for your body?
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.