Why Should I Drink Water? How Much Water Should I Drink?
Most people struggle to drink enough water on a day-to-day basis. Half of this battle comes down to knowing how much water you need. Most of us can barely remember the vague advice we received in grade school about how much water to drink; recommendations now are influenced by a rapidly-shifting culture that centers around diets and excess.
One best friend might be talking about how she aims to get in a gallon a day; your colleague might stick to the age-old 64 ounces rule; your cousin insists he feels fine despite the fact that he almost never drinks water. Who are you supposed to trust? How much water should you be drinking on the daily?
You should probably toss out whatever your best friends, colleagues, and family are saying. It's best to stick with the facts. The CDC states that there is actually no recommendation for how much plain water we should drink daily. They cite another source: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Their research indicates that on average, from both food and liquid consumption, women should consume about 91 ounces of water per day. Men should shoot for 125 ounces daily.
Drinking more than these recommended amounts of water won't harm you. Whispers of "water poisoning" can be easily discarded as long as you aren't consuming massive quantities of water within short timespans. The NASM's guidelines make for great minimum requirements. Their researchers estimate that about 80% of the average person's water intake comes from consuming beverages, so good starting goals for men and women might be around 72 and 100 ounces per day, respectively.
Tips and Tools to Make Drinking Water Easier
Anyone who's made an effort to drink more water knows that it isn't always easy. Distractions (and tasty treats) often get in the way of us achieving the hydration we should be aiming for. Lots of people rely on innovative little tools, tricks, and tips to help them remember to stay on track or push themselves towards their goals. We've outlined just a handful of these below.
Water bottles with your best interests at heart
Brands have worked to release water bottles that are designed to help consumers stay on top of their water intake and make good habits a routine. Lots of people opt to use water tracking bottles in order to make it easier to remember how close they are to meeting their intake goals on any given day.
Time tracker water bottles are a great way to see some visual representation of your progress. They also make it much easier to remember when it's time to refill and get chugging again. Using hydration tracking water bottles is a great way to boost your chances of success if you're looking to drink more water.
Mobile phone apps
Lots of mobile phone apps available today are designed to help you track and maintain your water intake. Some are simple and some are more robust. If you're looking to lose weight while you improve your hydration, your weight loss app probably already has a spot to track your water intake. If you're only concerned about your H2O, there are plenty of specialized apps just for keeping an eye on your drinking habits. You can grab a barebones app or opt for one that's more aesthetically-pleasing and interactive.
The Top Five Benefits of Drinking Water
Balancing body fluids
We know, we know-- it doesn't sound super sexy, but it's true! Drinking enough water helps keep your body functioning. Humans are made up of about 60% water. It's easy to see how drinking too little could start to have negative impacts on our bodies very quickly. Appropriate H2O intake ensures that the fluids which facilitate digestion, circulation, absorption, nutrient transport, and body temperature maintenance can do their job. If these fluids are out of balance, your body's systems could struggle to perform healthily.
Losing weight may be easier
Dieters have long used water as a way to fill their stomachs and avoid excess calories. Substituting it for high-calorie beverages like sodas, sweetened drinks, and milk-heavy coffees or teas has helped many people lose the weight they needed to in order to lead healthy lives. Your body is also less likely to get confused and begin sending out mixed signals or hunger signals if you're taking care of it.
Staying properly hydrated keeps your body in check and helps avoid cravings. Zero calories and great for you? That's hard to beat!
Keeping bowel functions normal
Nobody really wants to talk about it, but keeping your bowel movements regular is an integral part of maintaining good health. Issues with constipation are common in people who don't drink enough water. Long-term, this can actually lead to damage within your digestive system; and even if it doesn't, we can all agree that it's an uncomfortable experience.
You can avoid these issues by ensuring you get your daily dose of H2O. Keeping hydrated will help things flow through your digestive system more easily. If you can balance hydration and fiber, you'll practically be set for life. Falling behind on your water intake might lead to wasted time in the washroom and distracting aches and pains.
Fending off fatigue
Even mild dehydration has been proven to have negative effects on our moods and energy levels. The average individual today is saddled with a busy schedule and plenty of responsibilities. Don't you want to face those problems head-on with a fighting chance of making it through the day unscathed?
Because so much of the human body is made up of water, it makes sense that failing to replenish that supply leads to grogginess and low moods. You may find yourself fatigued, angry, confused, or in pain if you regularly fall below an adequate water intake. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and lymph production all improve once you drink enough water. Steady hydration throughout the day will help boost your energy and keep your mood stable.
Helping your skin look great
Everybody wants to leave their acne in high school and attain clear skin once they reach adulthood. You'll have a tough time achieving this if you're dehydrated.
One of the biggest secrets to clear skin is drinking enough water. Our skin contains immense quantities of water and needs to be kept hydrated. When the skin begins to dry out, it takes on an aged, loose, and wrinkled appearance. Problems like acne or other skin conditions also tend to flare without enough water running through your system to cleanse your skin. Over-hydrating won't make an eighty-year-old look twenty again, but it's an easy way to give your skin a healthy glow and clear up problem areas.