How much water do you drink in a day? Two liters? Half a liter? A gallon?
Water is critical for so many parts of our body to function properly, yet a lot of us are actually dehydrated! I’m guilty, too. Five years ago, I thought drinking half a liter of water in a day (one of those small bottles) was an accomplishment!
I’ve had to intentionally work at increasing my water intake and even still today, if I’m not paying attention, I will easily not drink enough water.
What is it about H20 that’s so important to the human body? Let’s dive into the benefits of water (no pun intended) and everything you need to know about staying hydrated.
Feel free to skip ahead:
- Benefits of water
- How much water should you drink
- Signs of dehydration
- Tips to stay hydrated
- Water-rich foods
Benefits of water
Detoxifies the body
Water not only carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, but it also flushes out toxins, dead cells and waste. Diluting these toxins reduces your risk of developing kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections). If you’re hydrated, your urine should be relatively clear, like lemonade.
Improves Skin Complexion
Dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled. So drink up to keep your skin moisturized, glowing and smooth. While staying hydrated can reduce wrinkles, over-hydrating won’t completely erase them. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
Your brain is mostly water so staying hydrated will keep it functioning properly, helping you think, focus and be more alert. Drinking water also helps boost your energy levels and fight fatigue caused by dehydration!
Dehydration is a major cause of headaches. So if you feel one coming on, reach for a bottle of water instead of a bottle of pills. Staying hydrated can even help you prevent headaches from happening in the first place!
Promotes Weight Loss
Drinking water 30 minutes before each meal can help you feel full and boost your metabolism! Eating foods with high water content can help too because they tend to be larger so they take more time to chew and are absorbed more slowly by the body.
Keeps you regular
Drinking enough H20 will help keep things flowing smoothly. If you’re dehydrated, your body takes water from your 💩, which causes constipation. Give your digestion a boost by drinking lots of water and eating plenty of fiber. Combined, these act like a broom to clean out your bowels.
Prevents Muscle Cramps
Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely. Also, dehydrated cells can shrivel causing muscle fatigue. When exercising, be sure to increase your water intake to replace what is lost through sweat.
Boosts Immune System
Staying hydrated may help with decongestion and keeping the body’s pH in balance. Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
Helps prevent hangovers
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration, which causes symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth. Don’t let Saturday night’s fun ruin Sunday morning. Fend off a hangover by drinking water between drinks and a big glass before going to bed.
How much water should you drink
While there’s much debate about this, there are a couple theories that seem to stand out most.
- Eight 8 ounce glasses
- Take half your body weight in pounds, and drink that in ounces (a 100lb person would then drink 50 ounces of water per day).
Whatever method you choose, what’s most important is that you listen to your body. If you’ve already had your eight cups for the day but you’re still thirsty, keep drinking!
Signs of dehydration
Signs you need to increase your water intake include:
- Dry mouth
- Not urinating/dark yellow urine
- Dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sunken eyes
- Increased fatigue
- Reduced motivation
Tips to stay hydrated
- Drink at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up
- Bring a bottle with you everywhere you go: work, school, in your car. Even carry one around with you at home!
- Drink a glass 30 minutes before each meal
- Make water taste good by adding lemon or other fruit
- Eat more fruits and vegetables with high water content
Water plays a major role in our health. Stay hydrated to keep your body functioning at its best.
How much water have you drank today? Go grab a glass.