Getting the right amount of H2O

Water is essential for survival. We can go without food longer than we can survive without water. But when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, lose weight, or even exclude sugary drinks from our diets, how much water should we be drinking daily?

Why does our body require water? Water is needed in the body for many reasons, some of the main reasons are:

  • Not drinking enough water can result in slower reasoning and thought processing.
  • Our blood consists of 90% water and not drinking enough it thickens the blood and makes it harder for oxygen to be moved around to the needed organs in your body.
  • Drinking sufficient water before meals, helps in digestion, not only will you feel fuller, but it can lessen the effects of ulcers or heartburn.
  • Joint pain can be increased by drinking low amounts of water. Cartilage is mostly water and if you do not drink enough to keep it hydrated, you may find more aches and pains.
  • Drinking more water than sugary drinks can help you lose weight. If you feel fuller from a glass of water before a meal, you may not ingest as much, helping control portions better.
  • Your kidneys. If you are limiting your water intake, your kidney may not like it and you may get kidney stones or other health issues.

Now that we know why it’s important to drink enough water, how can we tell if we have had enough water, or if we are lacking in our consumption? Here are some of the most common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Change in mood
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Rapid breathing and/or heartbeat
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Dry mouth, eyes, or lips
  • Dark yellow or smelly urine

If you notice these happening on a regular basis, try drinking more water, but if at any time you are concerned, consult a doctor. This advice I am sharing does not replace a doctor’s orders or care.

How much water is necessary in a day? The answer is not the same for each person. If you are an athlete or physically active, you should drink more water before a training session and during the day.

What about enjoying alcoholic beverages? Alcohol dehydrates the body, and you feel it the next day with a hangover. The best way to combat that is to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink.

The suggested amount of water is no longer 8 8oz. glasses a day, it could be more, it could be less. Current recommendations to maintain normal hydration levels are approximately:

  • 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for men. Approximately 15 – 16 8oz. glasses.
  • 91 ounces (2.7 liters) for women. Approximately 11 -12 8oz. glasses.

What is the best way to drink enough water throughout the day? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Drink 2 cups (16 oz) of water before every meal.
  • Morning and Night: Get into the habit of drinking one glass (16 oz) of water when you wake up and another 8 oz glass before you go to sleep every night.
  • Keep Track by Your Container: One thing that has proven to help people consumer enough water daily is to buy a special container for their water.
  • Infuse Your Water with Flavor. I personally love water with lemon.
  • Bubbles. Consider carbonated and sparkling water in addition to regular water. Many people find that adding sparkling water and 0 calorie flavored water makes drinking water throughout the day more fun.

Looking to lose some weight? Consider drinking half your weight in ounces per day. See the image above to determine what you may need to drink. Consult your medical professional before starting any new weight loss program.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

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