March is National Nutrition Month and centers on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme is, “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.” In honor of the campaign and to celebrate the theme, we’ve created a series of videos in which we highlight the small goals and changes you can make while still having a profound effect on your overall health. In our second installment, Ashley Girt, RD, Parkview Health, helps explain the importance of water consumption and overall hydration.
Everyone’s probably heard the general recommendation of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but is that right for you? The hydration needs of each person can vary, depending on several factors including, but not limited to:
- Overall health: You may need to consume more water if you have a medical condition.
- Climate: The environment in which you live plays a big part of your water consumption. Whether it’s warmer, cooler or high altitude you may require additional fluid intake.
- Activity level: If you exercise or are physically active, you may need to drink extra water to replenish the fluids you’ve lost through sweating.
All these factors can affect how much water you will need to consume throughout the day.
Sources of water
It’s important to remember that you’ll also get water from the foods you’re eating like fruits and vegetables. Typically, you can get about 20% of the water you need from the foods you eat throughout the day.
A good rule of thumb
Also, if you’re physically active for less than 60 minutes, water is usually enough to rehydrate you. However, if you’ve been physically active for longer than 60 minutes you may want to consider adding a sports drink to help with rehydration. This will help provide you with the carbohydrates and electrolytes that you may have lost during exercise. Remember to listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink or sip water throughout the day. It will help prevent dehydration.
Join us every Tuesday in March for more healthful hints from our clinical dieticians.