Throughout the course of the day, we lose water simple by sweating, breathing, and digesting. It’s crucial to replace the water we lose to prevent dehydration and keep the GI tract running smoothly. Dehydration can cause bloating due to electrolyte imbalances and can halt digestion and cause constipation. Not fun!
With summer temperatures rising, it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated throughout the day.
How much water should we drink?
There are many factors that affect daily water requirements such as metabolism, physical activity, medications, and climate. Men usually need more water than women. Additionally, pregnant or nursing mothers will also need more water.
The Mayo Clinic’s water guidelines suggest the following for healthy adults living in a temperate climate:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
While that seems like a lot, there are plenty of creative ways to increase water intake.
Here are 5 creative ways to increase water intake for good digestive health:
- Add flavor. Whether it’s a flavor packet, or testing different combinations using fruits, water doesn’t have to taste boring. Start with simple ingredients such as lemon, lime, honey or strawberries. Eventually, infuse several fruits and herbs at once for more exciting combinations.
- Consume hydrating foods. Around 20 percent of our daily fluid intake comes from food, so load up on hydrating items. Some hydrating foods include watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, cantaloupe, celery, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Consider other liquids. Supplement water with diluted fruit and vegetable juices, clear soups and herbal teas.
- Set reminders in your phone. Make a goal each day for how much you’d like to drink. Then, set a reminder in your phone to ensure you reach your goals and are staying hydrated throughout the day. There are even apps that remind you to hydrate!
- Bring a reusable bottle of water everywhere you go. Having easy access to water is key for making your daily goal.
When is the best time to drink water?
When you wake, your body is dehydrated, so start the day by drinking a cup immediately upon waking up. Then incorporate water consumption throughout your entire day.
Be sure to sip water at mealtimes as well as that will aid digestion. Water and other liquids break down food so your body can absorb the nutrients.
Our team of doctors at Gastrointestinal Specialists P.C., in Troy, Michigan has the knowledge and experience finding and treating diseases in the gastrointestinal tract to ease your stomach issues. And we’re committed to making your experience at our facility as comfortable and convenient as possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.