Jessie the Dietitian: Hydration, a Healthy Hustle

May 16 / CATEGORY: Nutrition

Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Let’s talk about hydration! Shout out to everyone who participated in our poll on Instagram to decide our next blog topic. Follow this formula for an easy, general rule of thumb to determine your fluid needs:

 Weight (in pounds) ÷ 2 = Amount of water per day you should consume (in ounces)

Example: 140 pound person ÷ 2 = 70 ounces per day

This rule of thumb is a good starting point; however, your water needs are influenced by several other factors including the weather, physical activity level, and even your GI tract.  These variables may fluctuate daily, so the amount of water you need to maintain adequate hydration and feel good may also change. Summer season is just around the corner, and there is no doubt that Florida’s notoriously high temperaturesInfographic will require drinking extra fluids soon.

In a state bordered by water on three sides and tied for #1 in most swimming pools, you might be inclined to have a splash-tastic time in the water.  Did you know you sweat when swimming or participating in other water sports? It’s difficult to detect water loss when in a pool or ocean, but there is still a risk of becoming dehydrated. Over the summer, make sure to replenish your water intake based on the intensity of your water workout.

How to Hydrate?

Almost all beverages with zero calories and high-water content foods like watermelon and celery count towards our hydration status.

Here are 3 tips for staying hydrated throughout the day:

  1. Get a reusable water bottle and bring it with you to work, class, the gym, and on errands
  2. Add a flavor: lemon, ginger, and cucumber are examples of how you can enhance the taste of your water
  3. Drink a glass of water every time after you use the restroom

A good way to assess hydration status is to observe the color of your urine. Urine that is pale yellow usually represents an optimal hydration state, whereas darker urine color is characteristic of dehydration.

Here are 4 physical identifying characteristics of dehydration:

  1. Flushed skin
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. Dizziness
  4. Body fatigue and weakness

Being dehydrated isn’t the only concern when it comes to water and electrolyte balance, though. Overhydration can lead to dangerously low levels of salt and electrolytes. To prevent either extreme, conduct self-check-ins and observe the color of your urine to determine your approximate hydration status. Follow this link to read more about how to assess your hydration status based on the urine color spectrum.

Hydration is unique to each person. Ensure you are drinking when thirsty, and if spending time outside, drink enough to account for your sweat losses. If you would like to ask more questions about hydration or get a better idea of how much water you need daily, use the link below to schedule a free speed session with RecSports’ registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, Jessie Furman:

This post was co-written by:

-Jessie Furman, MS, RDN, LD/N and Anna Pizza

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian and Assistant Director for Nutrition at the University of Florida’s Department of Recreational Sports where she does individual nutrition counseling and coaching with the UF community. Follow her on Instagram for more nutrition tidbits.

Anna is a Nutrition Services Program Assistant with the Department of Recreational Sports. She is a new graduate of UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions.