Fitness Challenge Nutrition Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Welcome to the first week of the Challenge. This weeks nutrition tip is entitled “Stay Hydrated”. It refers to the importance of making sure that you drink enough water every day to keep your body working correctly. Did you know that dehydration is linked to fatigue, hunger and irritability? So the next time you find yourself grumpy, tired or very hungry, it might just be that you are dehydrated.
Chronic dehydration is very common. So how much water should you drink every day? A good rule of thumb is that you should drink half your weight in ounces every day. That means if you weigh 100 pounds you should drink 50 ounces of water every day. That may seem like a lot, but it is actually very easy to do. The key is to drink small amounts of water throughout the day.
When you’re thirsty, water should always be your drink of choice. Of course, there may be times when you drink other beverages such as coffee, soda or fruit juice. But if you choose to drink any of these, it should be for their taste, not to quench your thirst. And all these other beverages should be enjoyed in moderation.
Here are some facts about soda and other sugary drinks that are good to know.
- One Coca-Cola Soda (12 fl. oz.) contains 155 empty calories. Empty calories come from food that is high in sugar and fat but low in the nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. This means that one can has the equivalent of 9½ teaspoons of sugar.
- That one can of soda causes a temporary spike in your blood sugar. It does give you a temporary boost of energy, but when your blood sugar comes down, you end up with far less energy than when you started.
- Excessive sugar from drinking soda not only leads to unnecessary weight gain, it can also lead to diabetes.
- There are 3,500 calories in a pound. In order to lose OR gain one pound, an individual must either subtract or add 3,500 calories from their diet. That equates to 22.5 sodas. If you drink one soda per day, you could gain as much as 16 pounds in one year. Or if you currently drink one soda every day and decide to give it up, you could lose 16 lbs in one year.
- It takes about 23 minutes of walking to burn the calories in one can of Coca-Cola soda.
- Diet sodas aren’t much better. Although they do not have the calories of regular sodas, the chemically derived artificial sweeteners they contain (especially aspartame) may act as neurotoxins and have been linked to headaches, memory problems, anxiety, depression, skin irritations, joint pain and more.
- Fruit juice is high in sugar too. The best thing to do is to eat the fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. If you do drink fruit juice, keep it to a minimum and when you do, mix it with water.
So remember, water is the best thing for you when you are thirsty. And if you’re going to drink anything else, enjoy just a small amount for taste, not for thirst.
Here is this week’s challenge. Calculate how much water you should drink every day by dividing your weight in pounds by two. Then drink that number in ounces every day for the next seven days. For example: if you weigh 100 pounds you should drink 50 ounces of water every day. That equals five 10 ounce glasses. Try to start your day with at least 10 ounces of water first thing in the morning. This will really help you start your day right. Try to carry a water bottle with you and constantly sip from it. Good Luck!