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Water, Water Everywhere… So Drink Up!

Water, Water Everywhere… So Drink Up!

Every balanced nutrition program also includes drinking the right amount of water. Staying hydrated means your body can perform at its best as you replace fluids that are naturally lost during the day. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Institute of Medicine recommend total daily beverage intake of 13 cups for generally healthy men and 9 cups for generally healthy women. You might need slightly different amounts if you are quite active or live in a very hot or cold climate, for example. Treat drinking water like a task that’s so ingrained into your day you wouldn’t dream of skipping it—like brushing your teeth. Here’s a good guideline to get you started with drinking water each day. You may need more or less than the suggestions here, so check with your doctor or dietitian and take note of how you feel as you increase your intake of water and other healthy beverages.

6:00am – Wake up and drink 8-16 fluid oz. water (1-2 cups)

6:30am – Snack

7:00am – Work out and drink 16 fluid oz. water (2 cups); take small sips (4 -6 oz. every 15 minutes) before, during and after exercise

9:00am – Breakfast

10:00am – Drink 8-16 fluid oz. water (1-2 cups)

11:00am – Snack

12:00pm – Lunch

2:00pm – Drink 8-16 fluid oz. water (1-2 cups)

3:00pm – Snack

5:00pm – Drink 8-16 fluid oz. water (1-2 cups)

6:00pm – Dinner – Now more than ever it’s a good idea to drink water to aid in digesting all the nutrient-rich foods you’ll be eating and to balance out sweat lost from each day’s exercise routine.

You’ll definitely want a water bottle within arm’s reach every time you work out. The goal is to establish a routine with drinking water. Once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so avoid getting to that point. I’ve found that maintaining the discipline to eat at specific times of the day and drink water in between snacks and meals is one of the hardest parts of getting started. But it’s the most beneficial behavior for success in achieving your health, fitness and weight loss goals. Here’s a trick I use with my clients: Grab a backpack and at the start of each day pack it with two to four 16 oz. reusable water bottles full of water. Start sipping on a bottle between every meal and/or snack (as per my suggested schedule on page 16) and by the end of the day you’re left with four empties (and a lighter backpack). That makes it feel like less of a chore and more like a means to a worthy goal.

LEARN MORE about my New You Next Week 10 day program for health & fitness.