H-2-OMG: How to Drink More Water (and more)
We know! Water is delicious and healthy, and we’re always trying to drink more too! Especially before, during and after one of our amazing herbal cleanses.
On average your body is 70 percent water, though this can change based on age and sex. For example, babies are about 78 percent. And, men, their bodies are about 60 percent.
Approximately 20 percent of the water in your body comes from your diet. In fact, eating foods containing a lot of water is a great way to help keep your body hydrated. Some of our favorites include:
- Mixed greens
- Apple sauce
- Broth-based soups
- And more!
Why is staying hydrated so important?
Water is literally vital to everyday life — and health. Water provides a number of essential functions in your body including:
- Supporting the creation of hormones and neurotransmitters for healthy brain function
- Regulating your body temperature
- Acting as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord
- Forming the saliva used during the digestive process
- Helping with the breakdown of food to create the nutrients needed to fuel your body
- Lubricating your joints
- Flushing your body of toxins and waste
- Allowing your body’s cells to grow, replicate and survive
- Keeping your mucus membranes moist for optimal immune health
In addition to these life-sustaining functions, water has some lesser-known, and equally interesting, benefits as well.
Remember earlier we mentioned the effects of dehydration? Well, turns out, proper hydration has the exact opposite effects! This means that staying hydrated can elevate your mood and help to add a little pep to your step.
Feeling foggy? Having a hard time concentrating? Pour yourself a cool glass of H2O. Because water is needed by your brain to manufacture neurotransmitters and hormones, staying hydrated promotes clearer thinking.
When your body is missing water it leads to muscle fatigue and poor performance. Hydrating your body helps! So, if you’re struggling through the second half of your Zumba workout, grab your water bottle for a wonderfully delicious boost of energy.
No, water isn’t going to help you lose all the weight you like. But, it’s a powerful ally in weight management. Drinking water will help you to feel fuller, faster. Which means, when your afternoon sweet tooth gives you a nudge, grabbing a bottle of water first, might mean you pass on the snacks. Plus, subbing water for sugar-sweetened soda or juice can save you about 240 calories a day!
Properly hydrated skin flushes out toxins and reduces the risk of breakouts. Hydrated skin also appears more nourished and younger. Pro Tip: Using a high-quality moisturizer creates a physical barrier to lock in your skin’s moisture.
Looking for smoother, shinier, more luxurious locks? Wash your hair in cool water.
Feel thirsty? You’re already dehydrated.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst; a dry or sticky mouth; infrequent urination; dark yellow urine; dry, cool skin with little elasticity; headaches and muscle cramps. Untreated dehydration can become serious, quickly. Symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration include feeling faint or dizzy, experiencing a racing heart or labored breathing, eyes that appear sunken, confusion or irritability, or lack of energy. Anyone experiencing severe dehydration should be immediately treated by medical professionals.
How much water should I drink daily?
When it comes to considering how many ounces of water you should drink daily, there are really two schools of thought.
The Bodyweight Method
Considering the ideal amount of water consumption is based on your age, sex, weight, and activity level and environmental factors, it makes sense to take these factors into consideration. The bodyweight method starts by dividing your weight in pounds in half. This will give you the number of ounces of water you should drink every day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, drinking 70 ounces of water is recommended. Or, if you weigh 273 pounds, then you’d want to drink 136.5 ounces of water.
The 8 x 8 Method
The second method for calculating how many ounces of water you should drink each day is a bit more universal. Using this method, you should drink eight ounces of water, eight times a day, for a total of 64 ounces. So, if an average glass of water contains 16 fluid ounces of water, try shooting for at least four glasses a day.
We prefer the bodyweight method because the results are tailored to our bodies. And, we use the 8 x 8 method as an absolute minimum goal. Keep in mind your age, environment and activity level should also be taken into account, so you could possibly feel better drinking even more water than is suggested above.
Now that you know why you need to drink water and you’ve set your daily water intake goal, let’s get drinking! For our friends who struggle with this goal, we’ve created a list of tips for drinking more water. Without further adieu:
Here are a few of our go-to tips for getting a little more H-2-oh-yeah!
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. Running errands, it’s in your purse or car. Sitting at your desk, check out that water bottle next to your mouse. In a meeting, pause for a sip.
- Use a water tracking app. Check out Daily Water, Hydro Coach, Gulp, and WaterMinder, or use the trackers built into your FitBit, iWatch or smartphone health app.
- Mark your water bottle or gallon with the number of ounces you need to drink and by what time this milestone should have been achieved. For example, 8 am = 16 ounces, 10 am = 32 ounces.
- Set a reminder. If you get busy or easily distracted, set a reminder on your phone, calendar, smart home device or computer to take a hydration break.
- Adding a lemon or lime wedge, fresh or frozen berries, cucumber slices or mint froze in ice cubes can make drinking water more appealing.
- If you’re drinking another beverage (especially if it’s a dehydrating, caffeinated option like coffee, tea or soda), drink water along with it.
- Put your water in the freezer the night before for an extra icy beverage.
- Choose water when you’re eating out. Your body, wallet and calorie counter will thank you.
- Drink water before every meal. And, this tip can also discourage overeating because your stomach will already feel full.
- Embrace your inner child with a reusable straw.
- Snack on water-rich foods like those mentioned above.
- Introduce spicy food to your diet — the hotter the food, the more water you’ll drink!
Be a healthier, more hydrated, version of you.
Alright, water experts. Now that we’ve armed you with these tips for drinking more water — and a few fun water facts — it’s time for you to get out there and start drinking! Water, that is.