Ok ok, here is another one of my ‘nagging dad’ posts, encouraging you to drink up. I was inspired to write this post after reading an article online that is about making sure we are drinking enough water.
Most of us have heard of the “eight glasses of water a day” rule, right? While this has been etched in our memory from the age of, say five or six, it might not actually be the best measuring stick for proper hydration.
The reason is because there are many factors which determine how much water you should be drinking. Some of these include your physical build, your levels of activity, your age and sex, and the amount of sweat you produce. And yes, different people have a different “sweat rate”. Mine happens to be quite a lot, and it skyrockets when I’m around attractive members of the opposite sex.
Jokes aside, the season also plays a role in how much water you should drink. While everyone has different hydration needs, most of us will need more hydration in the warmer months, because we will be participating in more outdoor activities that are tiring. I’m talking about an ideal situation. If you are inactive even when the weather is nice and warm, let me know, so that I can nag you into being active.
Ok, now here are some ways you can ensure that you are taking in enough water.
Firstly, drink according to your thirst and make sure that your fluid intake is coming from water. Note that this is only referring to ‘idle time’, when you are in an office environment or just lazing about not doing anything strenuous.
Conversely, when you are participating in physical activity or doing anything strenuous, you should make it a habit to drink up even when you are not thirsty whenever it is warm. Growing up in tropical Singapore, I can say for sure that heat stroke during exercise or military training is very real, and feeling thirsty might mean it is almost too late.
Secondly, know the fifty shades of urine. Ok, bad joke. But anyways, a well-hydrated person will have light coloured urine, while a dehydrated person will have dark coloured urine. If you are a man, there is no excuse for not keeping track of this. After you, all, you are aiming as you pee, right?
Finally, you should recognise the signs of dehydration. These include dryness in the mouth, reduced urine, clammy skin, headaches, fatigue, light-headedness, just to name a few. Rather than memorise this list, why not just always have water around you?
To be perfectly honest with you, there are times when I am guilty of not heeding this advice myself. In reality, this applies to all of us, even fitness motivators and professionals. I’m just hoping that by consistently reminding you to drink up, I will also consistently remind myself. Do as I say, but also as I do.
I’ll end this post with an interesting fact. Athletes are actually more prone to overhydration rather than being dehydrated. This can be a problem because it can dilute the levels of sodium in the blood and can lead to something called ‘hyponatremia’, which is deadly.
On that note, I met a British raver once while backpacking, and he said that if you encounter someone who is on the verge of passing out at a rave, don’t give him/her water because the party drugs might contribute to hyponatremia. Give salt and keep him/her cool while waiting for medical help. Or you can just take my approach and stay away from drugs. Although I do enjoy trance music, the rave thing isn’t quite my scene anyway.
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. Mark spends his days helping distressed Uni students through difficult situations. He holds three science degrees and a Diploma of Christian counselling. In his spare time, Mark does freelancing and runs a series of online operations with his business partner Atanas. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan