As soon as the temperatures start consistently staying below 90° F, it is like my brain completely turns off it’s desire for water. In the summer months, when the sun is blazing, it is so easy to remember to sip on water all day. The unbearable heat makes you practically crave a sip the very second you set foot outside. However, when cooler weather arrives, it is as if a switch in my brain gets flipped. I start craving things like spiced ciders, warm teas, and hot cocoas. And do I even need to mention the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks?
While all of those things are fun to drink, it is still important to remember to stay hydrated with water. The physiological benefits of drinking water are numerous, but some of my top favorites are:
Detoxifies the body Moisturizes the air in the lungs Regulates body temperature Protects and moisturizes the joints Helps promote a healthy metabolism Carries nutrients from the foods you eat to the other parts of your body Clear, healthy skin
All of these things are SO important for runners. Okay, well…maybe not the clear skin thing. That is just an added bonus. Woot!
As runners, what is the point of all of our training if we do not do our best to protect our joints? We will never make it to the finish line without taking good care of our feet, ankles, knees, and hips. And I am sure that during training, you probably make an effort to eat better, right? Well, what is the point of doing that if you aren’t drinking enough water to make sure all those nutrients you are taking in are getting deposited to the vital parts of your body and absorbed?
Now that you understand the need to drink more water, you just need to find some creative ways to trick yourself into getting more fluids into your body. Here are some really fantastic suggestions that I found over at The Well Grounded Life…
Chia seeds really need a post of their own because they are powerhouse superfoods with a high content of omega 3 fats, complete protein, and many other vitamin and minerals.
In terms of hydration, chia seeds readily soak up liquid. After about 10-15 minutes they will plump up and form a bit of a gel.
When you allow the seeds to soak up water before using them (in your oatmeal, smoothies, juices, baked goods, yogurt) they bring that excess water into your system as they are digested.
In addition to a host of vitamins and minerals, coconut water is an isotonic liquid– which means it has the exact proportion of electrolytes as human cells and plasma have. It hydrates us so perfectly, that in the Vietnam War, injured soldiers were actually given IVs of coconut water when the IV fluids were low in order to keep them hydrated. You can drink coconut water straight or add it to a drink you already enjoy, like juice, to boost your hydration.
HIGH WATER CONTENT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
All fruits and vegetables have a relatively high water content, but some really are off the charts.
Bringing fruits and veggies with the highest concentrations of water into your diet will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
These foods all have more than 90% of their weight in water content:
Now you know WHY you should be drinking more water and HOW to incorporate more water into your diet…but HOW MUCH should you be taking in? This is the question of the century. My general guideline is the following. And keep in mind that it is not based off of anything scientific but it just seems to be a rule of thumb that works really well for me.
Drink 1 ounce of water for ever 2 pounds body weight. Drink an additional 1 ounce of water for ever 1 ounce of caffeine you drink.
For example, if you are 150 pounds and you drink about two 8oz cups of coffee a day, then 91 ounces might be a good number to set as your goal for each day. However, if you work out extra hard, then you might want to increase your fluid intake even more. At the very least, consider supplementing your water intake with a sports drink.
How much water do you TRY to drink everyday? How did you arrive at that goal number? How much water do you ACTUALLY drink everyday?