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As you probably expected, water is the best fluid to drink in order to stay hydrated; however, this does not mean that other liquids can’t hydrate you as well.  Certain fluids help to hydrate while others can further dehydrate the body.  Water, fruits and vegetables high in water content, fruit juices, and sports drinks can all help hydrate the body while alcoholic and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or soda can cause dehydration.  Be aware that certain beverages like fruit juice and drinks may be high in carbohydrates or may upset the stomach.  Sports drinks have electrolytes, but they are also higher in calories than water.  Keep in mind that sports drinks are generally recommended for more strenuous exercise in order to replenish electrolytes that are lost during the activity, but water is recommended for mild to moderate exercise intensity and daily activity.

Take note of the following key points regarding hydration:

  • Hydration keeps all of your organs functioning properly
  • Stay proactive about hydration; especially if you have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, are exercising in hot environments, etc.
  • Drink an appropriate amount of fluid daily
    • When sedentary: Number of daily fluid oz. to stay hydrated = body weight x 1/2
    • When active: Number of daily fluid oz. to stay hydrated = body weight x 2/3
    • If you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated
    • Check your urine in order to determine your hydration level
      • Light/pale in color and urination frequency is every 3-5 hrs = hydrated
      • Deep/dark yellow in color and there are many hours between urination episodes or you do not urinate at all = dehydrated
      • Contact your doctor or go to an emergency room if you or a loved one are showing signs of severe dehydration

We hope that this blog was informative. If you have any questions on this topic or any others in which you are interested, feel free to leave any questions, comments, or suggestions. Thank you for reading and stay active.

Resources:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Staying-Hydrated---Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/dehydration/hic_avoiding_dehydration.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/definition/con-20030056

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Dehydration-What-is-Dehydration.aspx

http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/fuel/fueldrinking.html

 

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Disclaimer:  The information in this medical library is intended for informational and educational purposes only and in no way should be taken to be the provision or practice of physical therapy, medical, or professional healthcare advice or services. The information should not be considered complete or exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes without first consulting with your physical therapist, physician or other healthcare provider. The owners of this website accept no responsibility for the misuse of information contained within this website.