Our Chief Evangelist, Kimberly Schram, sat down (virtually!) with Upspring Medical Director and Registered Dietitian, Lisa Dispensa, to talk about U.Siip water enhancers and the importance of hydration while pregnant and breastfeeding. You can watch the 8-minute video directly on Instagram or read the highlights here!
why is hydration so important during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Hydration is so important to health and wellness in general, but in pregnancy, your body undergoes so many changes so rapidly. Upping your water intake during this time is crucial in helping give your body everything it needs to grow that tiny human! Blood volume expands by about 40%, and the volume of water in your body also increases. This is what increases needs for nutrients like iron, for example.
While breastfeeding, you could be losing on average about 3 cups of water per day! Hydration is the foundation, and water is arguably the most essential nutrient of all. Your body cannot do this on its own, so you have to really bump your water intake even more while breastfeeding.
how much water should an expecting mama drink per day?
If we back up to non-pregnancy, the average person should drink about eight 8oz glasses of water per day, or 64oz.
The recommended amount increases 2 glasses of water to a total of 10 glasses per day, or 80oz, while pregnant. It's really best to actually measure that out. After all, our glasses aren't all the same size, and most people can't look at a container and tell how many ounces it holds! Take your favorite glass, water bottle, container, whatever it is, and determine how many of those per day you'd need to finish to hit the recommended ounces for where you are in momhood (or just in life!).
how much water should a breastfeeding mama drink per day?
The recommended 10 glasses of water per day while pregnant jumps up another 3 glasses per day while breastfeeding, to a total of 13 glasses or 104oz of water. A gallon jug contains 128oz to give you some perspective, but we do not recommend overdoing it. Again, this consumption should really be intentional. If you didn't measure out your water intake while pregnant you should definitely do it while breastfeeding!
that's a lot of water, and many moms have difficulty drinking that much!
Just think, if the average person struggles to hit the recommended 8 glasses of water per day, a breastfeeding mom has to significantly increase this amount. If you're not in a routine of literally sipping or gulping all day, it can be tricky! We heard this directly from moms themselves--it was difficult to get in the hydration they knew they needed--and it's why we created U.Siip water enhancers.
why are electrolytes important when mom is trying to hydrate?
U.Siip water enhancers are formulated with 4 key electrolytes: calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium (yes, calcium is an electrolyte!). Electrolytes are crucial because they help lock in fluids. They help the body balance its water status... they bring us back into homeostasis, which is sort of like our biological equilibrium.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium are particularly important during pregnancy, but they can be difficult to adequately consume in diet alone*. It's important to reach the recommended levels of what your body needs, but it's also important to hydrate consistently throughout the day. We included 4 different electrolytes in U.Siip but intentionally at lower levels, so that our water enhancers compliment your diet, especially if you're taking a great prenatal multivitamin like this one.
There are also foods that can help with hydration, like ones with high water content. Fruits and vegetables are always a good place to start, but specifically things like cantaloupe, salad greens, cucumber, celery, etc. are good to include. But again, diet alone is not going to get you there. You're going to have to drink throughout the day to get to 64, 80 or 104oz per day!
what makes U.Siip different than sports or athletic electrolyte drinks?
Again, U.Siip was intentionally formulated with lower levels of electrolytes so that you can drink it more consistently throughout the day. U.Siip also doesn't contain any artificial flavors or sweeteners, which can be common in bottled sports drinks these days. Our product has clean, lean ingredients, with a slight sweet touch of natural organic sugar.
Not only does U.Siip not contain any artificial sweeteners, it also doesn't contain a ton of sugar. It's 4 grams of sugar, coming to a total of 20 calories per serving. It's more like just a splash of sweetness than a sugary beverage. By contrast, a 20oz serving of Gatorade contains 36 grams of sugar, just a bit less than the average soda.
Lisa Dispensa was a key player in the formulation of this great new product, and we cannot thank her enough for her time and expertise. U.Siip water enhancers are now available in 2 flavors: Lemon Lime and Citrus Ginger, which can be soothing for an expectant mama's tummy. More flavors are coming soon, so follow along to be the first to hear what's next!
*If you're unsure of the exact levels of electrolytes or nutrients you should be consuming or if you should be supplementing and by how much, we'd recommend consulting with your healthcare professional.