8 Reasons to Take a Water Break
Shed pounds and keep focus with this ’round-the-clock re-hydration guideBy: Jennifer Weaver
Water Yourself for Health
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Our bodies are composed of over 60% water, so it should come as no surprise that when the river runs dry, we start feeling a bit agitated. In fact, mild dehydration can shift moods, increase anxiety, and affect work quality, according to a 2011 University of Connecticut study.
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“But many people don’t make a conscious effort to rehydrate throughout the course of the day, especially if it takes some kind of effort,” says study co-author Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, COO of the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. You may be dried out a lot more often than you realize.
To offset these effects, set a reminder for these breaks in the day to keep you moving and quench your thirst.
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8:00 AM: Rise and Rehydrate By the time your alarm clock blares, you’ve likely gone eight hours without so much as a sip of H20. In addition to jumpstarting your day and flushing your system, a German study found that chugging half a liter of nature’s goodness could actually increase your metabolism during the next hour.
9:30 AM: Milk Your Morning Including milk in your morning meal will give you a protein boost and help you build strong bones. Special belly-flattening properties in milk may also break down stomach fat and even block it from forming. (More powerfoods that shrink your belly)
Plus, it’s 90% water.
11:00 AM: Take Sips While You Work“Fill up a liter-size jug of water to have while you’re at the office,” suggests Bethany Thayer, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Institute of Medicine recommends nine cups of water a day for women and 13 cups for men, so aim to refill your bottle at least once or twice a day.
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12:00 PM: Skip Diet SodaIf diet soda is your go-to lunch beverage, water is a much better bet. Regular diet soda consumption increases your chance of experiencing heart problems including stroke, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine . Need a flavor fix? Spike your H20 with grapefruit and mint or fresh ginger and peaches.
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1:00 PM: Take a Bathroom BreakBefore you flush, take a peek at your pee. That may sound a little gross, but it’s the best way to gauge your hydration level. “The goal is for it to be clear or pale,” says Marisa Moore, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Don’t forget to refill your water bottle on the way back to your desk!
3:00 PM: Conquer Your Mid-Afternoon SlumpHitting a wall or feeling a bit sleepy? Your body could be quitting because it’s parched. “If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel sluggish and fatigued,” says Moore. Before heading to the coffee shop for a java jolt, make a stop at the water dispenser—it’s free and it could give you the kick you need to finish the day.
5:00 PM: Water Your MusclesPushing through your evening workout will prove difficult if you haven’t had much to drink. And it’s even more important to replenish post-exercise. Before hitting the machines, Thayer suggests that you step on the scale; then weigh yourself again when you’re finished. Drink two cups of water per half pound of weight lost to make up for the fluid your body lost through sweat.
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7:00 PM: Happy Hour HydrationIf throwing back a few brews is part of your wind-down routine, you may want to add chugging water to your after work to-do list, says Thayer. “As your body tries to get rid of the toxins in alcohol, it increases your water loss,” she explains. Replenishing lost fluids will prevent you from waking up with a headache in the morning.
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