This is probably the most common question when it comes to hydration.
How much water should we (human beings) drink daily?
You've likely heard of what's commonly referred to as the 8x8 method. This method says that you should be drinking 8 oz of water 8 times per day for a total of 64 oz of H20.
As human beings, we like neat, easy, one-size fits all answers to our questions but the problem is, these answers are usually oversimplified.
There is a sweet spot for H20 but your sweet spot is likely different than your neighbor.
Today's article is about finding your sweet spot.
Buckle up for the next 5 minutes, it will be worth your while.
Finding Your Hydration Sweet Spot
You're already well aware that dehydration is bad, but most people don't realize that when you drink too much water, you can dilute the electrolyte levels in your blood causing some serious problems too.
The solution then, isn't just to pound tons of water and call it good.
We will give you one rule of thumb to go by...drink when you're thirsty.
You're probably thinking, "Wait, he just said there's no one-size fits all".
The answer is yes, that's still the case so here are the most common exceptions to the "drink when thirsty" rule of thumb.
Exception #1: High Elevations
Similar to how a cell phone can lose service at the top of a remote mountain, our built in thirst mechanism seems to "lose service" at high elevations as well. In other words, you don't get thirsty like normal.
To ensure you don't fall into a dehydrated state, you may need to stick with a plan similar to the 8x8 method to make sure you get enough water.
Exception #2: Hot Climates
When it's hot, you're going to sweat a lot which means you'll lose sodium and water quickly. This will be especially problematic if you're exercising in hot weather.
To combat the risk of dehydration, you'll want to consider pre-hydrating, in other words, drinking water before you feel thirsty to combat the rapid rate at which you'll lose water and sodium through sweat.
Exception #3: Low Carb Diets
Those who eat a low-carb diet tend to have low insulin levels (a very positive marker of health).
Books have been written on the benefits of maintaining low insulin levels but to be brief, what you need to know is that when insulin levels are low a signal is sent to the kidneys to excrete more fluid and sodium than normal. This can cause issues like the "Keto Flu", symptoms resembling the flu that come as a result of losing sodium and water.
In summary, people who eat a low-carb diet have increased hydration requirements and need to plan accordingly.
How to Make a Smart Hydration Plan
The biggest mistake people make when making a smart hydration plan is failing to account for electrolyte replenishment.
Just drinking water especially in hot climates, when exercising, or when on a low carb diet can fail to replenish sodium and other important electrolytes.
In the 1980s, the military recommended that troops drink 1.8 liters of water every hour. As a result, "overwatering" became a huge problem.
The troops would fall into a state of hyponatremia (low sodium levels caused by overwatering) and because the symptoms looked similar to dehydration the solution prescribed was more water which made the condition worse. In one unfortunate case, this proved fatal.
I tell you this only to help you realize that replenishing electrolytes isn't just something "good to do" but something that's crucial for your health!
For that reason, we suggest using an electrolyte fortified hydration drink to help you replenish essential fluids and electrolytes.
Not All Hydration Drinks Are Created Equal
Here's another rule of thumb for you to live by.
Foods and drinks with added sugar are your enemy.
Most widely available hydration drinks are full of sugar which negates the benefits of the electrolytes found in them.
Even the zero sugar options are usually filled with artificial sweeteners which cause harm to the body.
We saw that problem and set out to create a zero sugar, naturally sweetened hydration drink but we didn't stop there. We also added a splash of protein to help kill cravings and build lean muscle and vitamins to boost focus and immunity.
That refreshing drink is called ProLoco, and it's the totally Loco new way to ensure you're properly hydrated each day!
A Final Word: Become the Guinea Pig
Ultimately, finding what works for you will require some experimentation.
Test out different hydration methods on yourself to see what works for you and makes you feel your best.
Use the information in this article as a starting point for your experiments and remember that there are always exceptions to every rule of thumb.
We often say that HydroSwell isn't so much a nutrition company as it is a habit development company.
Our products are the tools to help you create healthy habits.
Healthy hydration is an essential habit to ensure you can feel your best and live the life you're meant to!
To check out how ProLoco can fuel your adventurous life the clean way CLICK HERE!