Summer is coming and so is the heat.So whether you are starting a walking program, doing some prenatal yoga, ready to start that high energy “lose the baby belly” program – or even if you are simply pregnant or breast feeding - remember to stay hydrated this summer.That means lots of water!
Water accounts for 60-65% of the body’s weight and maintaining hydration is critical to health and performance.Essential for every system in your body, water:
Is necessary for digesting, absorbing and transporting nutrients throughout the body
Flushes toxins out of your – and your baby’s - vital organs like your kidney’s and liver
Helps maintain the body’s temperature – keeps you cool – which is so important when pregnant
Helps prevent constipation by helping move everything through the colon faster – not a bad thing
Lubricates the joints cushions organs and tissues Enables all metabolic reactions more happen more efficiently
Every day you lose water through your breath, your skin (sweat), urine and bowel movements.For your body to function properly, you must replenish this water supply through the foods and beverages you consume.
Institute of Medicine advises that the average woman should consume 2.2 litres of total beverages per day.However, the following factors may increase your fluid needs:
Pregnancy or breast-feeding
Environment (high temperatures; low humidity; high altitude)
A high fibre diet
Caffeine or alcoho consumption
Illness or health conditions
Women who are expecting or are breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated.The institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 litres of water and women who are breast-feeding consume 3.1 litres as you lose excess amounts through breast milk.
If you are looking at increasing your activity level (participating in any activity that makes you sweat), either while pregnant or post baby, exercise (especially in the summer heat) will increase your water needs even more.
Drink water before, during and after exercise to ensure proper hydration for your muscles and a safe effective work out.Follow these simple guidelines:
Before - About 2-3 hours before you exercise, drink 500-750 ml (2-3 cups) of water and then another 250 ml immediately before you start your workout.
During- Drink water frequently as you exercise - about 250 ml ever 15-20 minutes. So fill up your Baby Bellies Stainless Steel Water Bottle (750 ml) and you are good for a decent 45 minute workout! You lose about 500 ml of sweat for every 300 cal of heat dissipated.
Fill up your water bottle again and drink the bottle dry (750 ml) over the 2 hour period following your exercise.
Remember that you can’t count on your thirst to let you know when you should have a drink; by the time your brain signals that you are thirsty, you may have already lost 3 cups of sweat and be well on your way to dehydration.Also, as you get older you body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst.So make sure you drink before you feel thirsty.
You can, and should, get water from other sources like fruits and vegetables (eg. tomatoes and watermelon are 90-100% water by weight), protein rich foods and prepared grain products.However, on average, 80% of your fluid intake comes from beverages and water is one of your best choices as it is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.
Be safe out there; drink often and enough water from safe sources (stainless steel bottles) – before, during and after exercise, eat a well balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, try not to exercise in the mid-day heat and check with your health care professional before starting a new exercise program or if you have any questions about your specific fluid needs.