It’s not uncommon these days to see someone walking around with a water bottle in their hands. Even when they’re not working out. In fact, it’s GREAT that so many people are doing this! Whether they understand the benefits of keeping their body hydrated, or they’re just doing it because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t matter! Drinking enough water throughout the day is very beneficial to your health! But why is it so important and how do I get enough? Well, let’s dig in.
Water is important. We hear that ALL THE TIME! But sometimes we don’t understand why it’s so important. Let’s fix that.
Why Stay Hydrated??
Our bodies contain a lot of water. More than half. It’s in our cells, brain, muscles, everything! You lose fluids when you sweat and go to the bathroom, even when you’re just breathing. So it makes sense that we need to replenish that water by drinking it throughout the day. But water has more benefits than just replenishing and maintaining the fluids in our bodies. Here’s a few others!
- Assist in losing weight: drinking water before a meal can make you feel fuller which in turn will help to reduce the number of calories you eat! Plus, if you’re swapping out a pop (or any other high calorie drink) for water, then you’re really reducing your calorie count! (1)
- Improve your skin: your skin cells absorb water which will improve their elasticity helping your skin look younger and healthier. But yes, you still need moisturizers and fancy lotions because water is not a miracle worker. (1) (2)
- Improve your brain functionality: the brain is made up of a ton of water so not drinking enough water can affect your focus and memory. (2)
- Helps with regularity: water can help keep you from being constipated which is always a good thing (1) (2)
- Help improve or reduce headaches: this hasn’t been looked at too closely, but the thought is that being dehydrated can cause concentration issues and increase irritability which can trigger a migraine. (2)
- Helps out your kidneys: ever heard of a “cleanse”? Many people believe going on a cleanse will improve their health. Well… That’s what your kidneys are LITERALLY designed for! To cleanse your body of toxins. BUT, only if your intake of fluids is adequate! So the next time you look to spend a fortune on a super cleanse, think again, and go for water instead. (1) (2)
How Much Water??
You’ve probably heard the rule to drink 8, 8oz glasses of water a day right? Well… it’s not that simple. Not everybody conforms to that rule. And while it is probably a safe bet, it’s not optimal. So the answer to this question isn’t that simple. How much water you need is different for everyone based upon their activity level, environment, and general health.
If you’re exercising (like doing any of these workouts – August workout of the month, July workout of the month, May workout of the month), you need more fluids. Because you’re sweating, you’re losing more and therefore need to replenish more. Makes sense. If you are in a hotter environment, odds are you’re sweating more, which again, means you’re losing more fluids. Finally, if you are sick (think vomiting or diarrhea), you’ll need more fluids. Same thing if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. So it’s easy to see why you can’t really make a general statement about drinking X amount of water in order to stay healthy.
Well that doesn’t help Kathleen. I know, I know. What they’re saying these days is to drink until you’re satisfied. To never let yourself get “thirsty”. And if your urine is pale, almost colorless, than your fluid intake is probably good! (3) So that’s pretty easy. No rules to follow, just drink whenever you can! And fortunately watching your urine is an easy indicator of whether or not you’re getting enough water!
How to Drink More Water??
If you don’t think you’re getting enough water throughout the day, but struggle to figure out HOW to improve that, here’s four tips to get you started and to guarantee you’re getting enough every day!
- Carry a water bottle around with you! Go ahead and join the crowd, sometimes it’s okay to do what everybody else is doing (as long as it’s not jumping off a bridge)! Put one in your purse, or just carry it, whatever works. This way, it’s always handy for you to use. I keep a larger water bottle with me at work so I can drink more without having to fill it up all the time!
- If you can’t stand drinking plain water, add some fruit to it! Or a squeeze of a lemon, or lime. Maybe add some mint. There’s so many ways to spice it up! I love a good glass of cold water with nothing else, but I totally get some people just can’t do that. These water bottles are seriously awesome because there’s a sleeve that you can put fruits in! Genius idea!
- Eat your fruits and veggies! Don’t forget, you don’t just replenish your fluids through other fluids. You can get them from food too! Watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and lettuce are all great options. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of other vitamins and minerals from them that you wouldn’t from water! See how I get all my fruits and veggies in through meal prep.
- Make sure to always have some type of liquid with every meal. For breakfast, of course I have coffee… is it the best option? Probably not. But let’s be real, I can’t survive my day without my one cup of coffee so that’s how it’s gonna be. For lunch, pick plain water, maybe some lemonade. And for dinner, I always go for a glass of milk! If you drink some water throughout the day in addition to something at every meal, you should be golden! (So some of you may know I LOVE Aldi, and we buy their AWESOME coffee! Plus they have k-cups, but they’re wayyyy cheaper!)
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So there you have it. Why water is awesome, how much water you need, and tips to increase your daily amount and to make sure you’re getting enough water. In the end, your body is made up of a huge amount of water, and you need to replenish that. There’s no set number of gallons to drink daily, but carrying around a water bottle, along with everyone else that’s doing it, is a great way to make sure you stay hydrated!
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What are your favorite ways to spice up your water? Do you have any other tips on how to drink more every day?