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Ask a Dietitian: Are You Getting Enough Water

by Emily Womack, Dietetic Intern

May flowers would not be able to grow without rain from the April showers and the heat of summer is only one month away! It will be very important that you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day so you can enjoy the outdoor activities that come with the sun.

How much water do you need? The average person loses 2.5 L of fluid a day. Our bodies are made up of 60% water. The Institute of Medicine sets our needs at:

  • 3 L for men (13 cups)
  • 2.2 L for women (9 cups)

It also depends on how active you are in your day. You may need up to 1.5 L extra to stay hydrated.

  • When working out, weigh yourself before and after
  • For every 1 pound lost drink 2 cups of water
  • Whenever you sweat you also need to replenish electrolytes such as Sodium, Potassium, & Calcium
  • Most sports drinks replenish electrolytes

What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?

  • Thirst
  • Head rushes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea

Benefits of staying hydrated:

  • Helps flush your body of toxins
  • Keeps your cells full and energized
  • Helps transfer healthy nutrients into your cells
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Helps prevent dry skin

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Sports drinks high in sugar can hinder hydration
  • Read your sports drink nutrition labels
  • Drink a full glass of water in the morning, night, and at each meal
  • Add a calorie free water flavor (Crystal Light, lemons, MiO, etc.)
  • Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go such as BPA-free or stainless steel

So whether you are working, working out, or playing outside in the sun make sure you are staying hydrated with water and replenishing your electrolytes.

For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.

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Contact Kelly Wells
Norman Regional Health System

Office (405) 307.2143
Fax (405) 307.2144