You're Probably Drinking Water All Wrong

woman drinking water

If you're thirsty, you pour yourself a glass of water and drink, right? It's kind of a no-brainer. Except, of course, that there's more to hydration than this.

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And waiting until you're actually craving a swig of H20 before you unscrew your water bottle is a rookie mistake.

"Some of us tend to ignore signs of dehydration because we don't realize the amount of fluid we can lose during the day, in the heat or during exercise," explains Olga Hays, ACE-certified personal trainer and health promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare.

Once you feel like you need to drink something, Hays says, "you're already mildly dehydrated. Your body is telling you that you need liquids."

Oops.

Other signs of dehydration that you might have missed:

Dry mouth.

Dark or yellow urine.

Fatigue. ("If you're well-hydrated, your energy levels are high because our bodies are 60 percent water," notes Hays.)

But here's the thing. WHEN you drink agua matters a lot, too.

More from CafeMom: 8 Ways to Drink Water & Give Yourself a 'Facelift'

For instance, "if you drink a glass of water before each meal (30 minutes before), it fills your stomach and helps with satiety," Hays explains. "That sensation of fullness decreases the chances of overeating."

And while you want to keep your water bottle during spin class or while you're on a run, you ALSO want to make sure you're hydrated well before you even put on your sports bra and tights.

"In general, it's recommended to drink 15 to 20 ounces of water two hours before hitting the gym," says Hays. Not to mention that you follow up with another eight-ounce glass within a half-hour of finishing your workout. That way, you'll replace the fluids you lost through sweating.

Consider this a PSA from your body, because water does important things like protect your spinal cord, lubricate your joints, and regulate your temperature. Did we mention that not drinking enough can also temporarily shrink your brain and put you in a foul mood? Because it can.

Got all that? Then when you're done reading, please -- get up from your screen and get some water already. 

when to drink water

when to drink water

when to drink water

when to drink water

when to drink water

when to drink water


Images via KieferPix/Shutterstock; Sharp Health News; flickr/Aqua Mechanical

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