How Much Water Should I Really Be Drinking?
Do you ever wonder, “How much water should I drink every day?” Here’s some advice to tell how much water your body really needs to function at its best.
Is the old advice to drink 8 glasses of water per day outdated? Is there really a one-size-fits-all approach to everyone’s water intake needs?
We’ve taken some time to research the data on water intake and optimal hydration, and we want to share what we found out with you. If you’ve ever wondered, “How much water should I drink?”, we hope to answer that question for you in this comprehensive guide.
How Much Water Does It Take To Be Fully Hydrated?
In grade school, we learn that around 65% of our body weight is actually water weight. If we don’t give our bodies proper hydration, we could experience a variety of unpleasant health effects that can quickly become life-threatening if we don’t increase our water intake right away.
But how much water do you really need to maintain optimal hydration? If you’re wondering how much to drink, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that the following daily fluid intakes are sufficient to meet the needs of most humans:
- Approximately 15.5 cups (124 ounces) of fluid for men per day
- Approximately 11.5 cups (92 ounces) of fluid for women per day
Keep in mind that the above recommendations include fluids from all sources, so they encompass all types of beverages (including water), and food. Surprisingly, about 20% of the fluid you intake each day comes from the food you eat! You can increase your water consumption by choosing to eat more foods with high water content.
You may need more water than the above recommendations if you’re a highly active person. The more physical activity you engage in, the more you’re likely to experience water loss in the form of sweat. Increasing your total water intake and adding electrolytes is a good idea if you have a high activity level. You want to make sure you’re getting enough water to perform your best.
If adequate hydration is so important for our bodies, why is it so hard to optimize our daily water intake? Well, a lot of people don’t particularly like the taste (or non-taste) of water, so they don’t drink as much of it as their bodies need. Sometimes, people turn to sparkling water or caffeinated beverages to increase their hydration.
Sparkling water is OK to drink if you like the taste, but the carbonation can potentially cause stomach upset. Caffeinated beverages, on the other hand, should be avoided because they can actually dehydrate you further. They are diuretics, which means they cause you to expel fluid out of your body at a faster rate than usual. So even though they are technically fluids, caffeinated beverages aren’t great for hydration!
What Are Some New Ways I Can Hydrate?
If drinking water is super boring to you, there are things you can do to make hydrating more fun. Here are some new ways you can improve your water consumption.
- Sip smoothies each day. Choose low-sugar smoothies that contain healthy ingredients if you want to optimize your hydration while also helping your body maintain a healthy weight.
- Enjoy soup regularly. Soup can provide your body with the extra water it needs to function well. Some soups can even be served cold in the summertime to keep your body temperature down and your hydration up!
- Eat more vegetables. Many vegetables have a high water content, so it’s wise to eat more of them as part of your healthy eating routine. Salad greens are made up of at least 90% water! Cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and tomatoes are also great choices for their water content. Plus, a diet rich in vegetables can aid with weight loss (which is something many of us ladies are striving for).
- Make fruit popsicles. If you feel like you’re not drinking enough water, try making frozen fruit popsicles at home. Pour water into popsicle molds, sweeten them with just a touch of fruit juice, then drop slices of your favorite fruits into the molds and freeze them. Reach for them whenever you feel like enjoying a refreshing, healthy, and hydrating treat.
- Infuse your water with berries. Berries are naturally sweet and refreshing. They’re also well-known for the health benefits they provide. Berries are low in calories and rich in vitamins and electrolytes that your body needs. Add some slices to your water for a subtle burst of flavor that will make your water more interesting and enjoyable to drink.
Those are just a few ideas for hydrating in new and fun ways. If you don’t like to drink water, try some of the above hydration methods to make sure your body gets the fluids it requires to function.
What Is the Importance of Electrolytes in Hydration?
What should you do if you over-exert yourself on a hot day and start showing the beginning signs of dehydration? If your answer is to chug as much pure water as you can find, you may be surprised to discover this isn’t the most effective way to combat dehydration.
It’s essential to drink plain water (such as filtered tap water or bottled water) every day. This is how you can keep your body consistently hydrated and avoid the damaging effects of dehydration. But if you engage in strenuous physical activity or sweat a lot on a hot day, drinking water alone is not sufficient to quickly replace all of the electrolytes lost through your sweat and urine. If you want to effectively hydrate your body after engaging in hot and strenuous activities, you’re better off drinking a liquid that replaces your electrolytes (such as Herhydration!)
Electrolytes are minerals that are vital to a wide variety of bodily functions. Electrolytes are found naturally in the body and carry an electric charge. Some of the most important electrolytes in the body include:
Electrolytes are found in sweat, blood, and urine. Your body is smart and knows how to maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes in normal conditions, as long as you’re getting enough fluid intake. But if you lose more bodily fluids (through your urine or sweat) than you are replacing, you can experience dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.
Electrolyte imbalances can cause the following symptoms:
- Tingling and numbness in the extremities
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Muscle cramping and weakness
Severe cases of dehydration can cause confusion, convulsions, and even death. That’s why it’s so important to get adequate hydration with beverages containing electrolytes during physical activity and when you’re sick. You can also get electrolytes from dietary sources, including pickled foods, seeds and nuts, table salt, and dairy products.
A lot of people rely on their favorite brand of sports drink to replace electrolytes lost through sweating or physical activity. While these drinks do contain some electrolytes, they also contain loads of sugar. High blood sugar levels can dehydrate you, so it’s best to drink a fluid that doesn’t contain much sugar when you’re trying to stay hydrated. Herhydration is sweetened with stevia, so you don’t need to worry about it potentially dehydrating you.
What Are Some Common Signs of Dehydration?
Dehydration happens when you lose more fluids from your body than you consume. Your cardiovascular system and bodily organs can all be negatively impacted by dehydration. Heart health and water are integrally connected, and it’s vital to be aware of the impact dehydration can have on your heart.
Dehydration can cause dangerous changes in blood pressure and can cause your body temperature to either dip too low or rise too high. For the sake of your organ and heart health, you want to take immediate action as soon as you start experiencing symptoms of mild dehydration.
Your body knows when it’s dehydrated, and it will send you some clues. The signs of dehydration may be subtle at first, but if you don’t quickly grab a water bottle or take a drink from the tap, your dehydration symptoms are likely to become more severe. Here are some of the most common signs you need to start drinking water ASAP:
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination (or not urinating at all)
- Dark-colored urine with a strong odor
- Dry mouth
When you first begin to experience mild dehydration, you may not feel any noticeable symptoms at all. But as the condition progresses, one or more of the above symptoms may become apparent.
Of course, it’s best to avoid developing these symptoms altogether by making sure you drink enough liquids for your body’s needs throughout the day. Older adults need to be especially mindful about hydrating sufficiently because the sensation of thirst tends to diminish as we age.
What Are Some Signs That I Am Fully Hydrated?
So, what if you think that you’re drinking enough water but you aren’t absolutely positive? What are some signs to look for that indicate you’re fully hydrated? If you want to stop stressing already about your water intake, here are five indications that you are hydrating your body like a champ.
- You have to take frequent pee breaks (yes, this is annoying, but it’s a natural consequence of having a well-hydrated body)
- Your urine is pale yellow or clear in color
- Your breath isn’t particularly unpleasant (dehydration causes bad breath)
- You don’t feel thirsty and you have been drinking water throughout the day
- When you pinch the skin on your lower arm or abdomen, it snaps back to its original position
If you have the above symptoms, congratulations! You’re a well-hydrated woman who knows how to take good care of her body!
What Foods Will Keep Me Hydrated?
There are a lot of water rich foods out there, and many of them are just as delicious as they are nutritious and hydrating. Here are seven of our top water-loving food suggestions to enjoy this summer:
The list above is by no means a comprehensive one. There are so many delicious whole foods that you can enjoy to get your daily intake of fluids. The above list is just a small sampling of some of the most water-rich foods you may want to add to your regular menu.
Can Drinking More Water Help With Healthy Weight Loss?
Some of us ladies have trouble controlling our weight and are always looking for “tricks” to help us lose weight easier. If you’ve heard the rumors that drinking more water can help you lose weight, you should know that there is some truth to them. Studies show a correlation between increased water intake and decreased body weight.
There are a couple of reasons why drinking more water may help you lose weight. First, water is necessary for supporting a healthy metabolism and can increase energy expenditure. Second, drinking water before meals can reduce the number of calories you eat at each meal.
According to one study, people who drank 17 ounces (just over two glasses) of water before every meal over a span of 12 weeks lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t drink water before meals. That’s a pretty good reason to chug more H20!
What Are the Main Benefits of Water To My Body?
We already mentioned how water can help boost your heart health and potentially assist you in your weight loss efforts. But there are so many other ways water can benefit your body and help you look and feel your best.
Water is necessary for optimal brain function. If you feel like you’re experiencing brain fog or are having trouble concentrating, you may be dealing with symptoms of mild dehydration. Grab yourself a cool glass of water and keep a water bottle by your side throughout the day so you can sip it regularly and keep your brain functioning smoothly.
Water is also a key component of our blood and muscles. When we are adequately hydrated, our kidneys can do their job of removing waste from the blood. Water also helps support healthy vasodilation so the blood can deliver essential nutrients to the body.
When it comes to muscle health, adequate water intake is essential. Water helps form glycogen and protein structures, which help provide energy for intense exercise and are important components of our muscles.
How Can Herhydration Help Me?
Herhydration is a water hydration packet that contains green coconut water and coconut water powder. As mentioned previously, green coconut water is ideal for rehydrating because it contains a variety of natural electrolytes (including potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and magnesium). One interesting fact about coconut water is that it closely resembles the electrolyte makeup of your blood, so your body will recognize its components and make good use of it!
If you aren’t fond of the flavor of coconut water, don’t worry! Each packet of Herhydration is expertly flavored with stevia leaf extract and natural flavors. Mix a packet in your water and discover just how enjoyable hydration can be!
Once you’re hydrated, head over to Mixhers resources and learn some helpful tips about how you can improve other areas of your life (such as your sex drive and your monthly cycles).
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