Water makes up about 60% of our weight and, unlike our fat stores, our bodies cannot generate water. For that reason, we need to replenish water throughout the day to stay hydrated. But there are so many questions when it comes to hydration, how does one make sense of it all?
How much water should I drink? Should I drink more water when I exercise? Is 64 ounces really enough? Should I drink half of my body weight in water? Do I have to drink plain water? Who knew water intake could be such a confusing thing?!
Luckily, there are some general recommendations for drinking water that meet the majority of an individual’s hydration needs.
Most people need roughly 8 to 12 cups of fluid per day. (Keep in mind that you get fluid from beverages and food.) More specifically, the International Sports Medicine Institute in West Los Angeles suggests a person drink 2/3 ounce per pound of body weight each day if they are active. This is 12+ glasses for an active 150-pound person. For a 150-pound sedentary person, this is ½ ounce per pound, which is 9+ glasses of water.
Plain water is the best for quenching thirst; it’s cheap, calorie free, sugar free, caffeine free and additive free. You can jazz it up by adding cucumber slices or mint for a light, refreshing flavor. Of course, water is not hydrating unless you actually drink it! So, if you have a hard time with plain water, try calorie and caffeine free alternatives to add fluid to your day. Technically all fluids can hydrate the body, but nothing does the trick like plain water!
Now, specifically for weight loss, Medifast recommends at least 64 ounces (8 cups) of plain water per day. This generally will meet your hydration needs. Some people will use the simple equation of drinking half your body weight in water. If you feel thirsty or are exercising, you may need more water, due to loss of water through sweat. Keep in mind that you are also obtaining even more fluid in your food, like Medifast shakes and vegetables in your Lean & Green Meals. All of this helps to contribute to maintaining your hydration and helping your body shed those unwanted pounds.
If you are thirsty, have darker-than-normal colored urine, lower urine output, dry mucous membranes or blood pressure changes, these may be signs of dehydration. A good rule of thumb is that urine should be almost colorless. So, if this sounds like you, then you may want to drink more water! So, the challenge for you is to record your water intake in your food journal or on MyMedifast to hold yourself accountable for incorporating this healthy habit of drinking water.