With the arrival of warmer weather also comes the inevitable reality of sweat. Although perspiration is ordinarily the sign of a properly functioning body, it does help induce body odor and gets absorbed by clothing, neither of which are convenient for those with office jobs.

There is no escaping reality though, and with more sweat on the horizon, replenishing fluids takes on a greater sense of urgency. The benefits of staying hydrated are too many to count, and increased energy and optimal functioning brain power are surely high on the list. Of course, the appropriate amount of water each individual should consume for hydration will vary based on a number of variables.

In an article this week for the Nebraska City News Press, longtime fitness specialist Julie Kirk outlined some basic factors that should be considered when trying to reach this determination, writing:

ACTIVITY LEVEL — Are you a marathon runner, high school or college athlete, an occasional cyclist or walker, a weekend warrior, a person who gets in their recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise, a gardener, or a couch potato? If you do any sort of exercise that makes you sweat, you will need to drink extra water to replace your loss. Especially with the warmer temperatures coming (I hope they do soon!) and if you do any type of outside activity— exercising, yard work, even watching your kids’ or grandkids’ ballgames — you will need to drink up to replenish. 

DIET — All foods contain water, with some having way more than others. Many raw fruits and veggies are made up of water. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, strawberries and watermelon are over 90% water and on Health.com, I read that cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, and celery are the highest hydrating vegetables you can consume. Isn’t that awesome that you can eat your water?

AGE and GENDER — One important fact that we need to consider when we age is that our thirst sensation decreases. To all you seniors: don’t forget to drink your fluids throughout the day. Dehydration can occur among older people and can cause many, sometimes serious, problems. Why not place a pitcher of water on your counter each morning and drink it throughout the day? Also, it is found that men need to drink more water than women due to the difference (usually) in fat levels and muscle mass. 

Sadly, many people nowadays rush to coffee for a caffeine boost when they feel tired, often neglecting the more sustainable sources of energy such as consistent exercise, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep. On top of all those, they also tend to forget refreshment is usually no further than their nearest source of H2O.

To read Kirk’s full writeup, click here.