You probably know it’s important to stay hydrated. But how much water should you drink a day?
6 glasses? 8 glasses? How much water should you drink a day?
Do you know that you need to drink more water but aren’t sure how much? Maybe 8 glasses a day seems overwhelming, and you just need some help figuring out how to get them.
Here is everything you need to know about your daily water intake:
- Why getting enough water is important
- How much water you actually need
- Easy ways to increase your water intake
- How to make sure the water you are drinking is clean
How much water should you drink a day? Here’s everything you need to know about staying hydrated.
Why getting enough water is important
60 percent of our bodies is composed of water. Virtually every bodily function relies on it to run smoothly. From our digestive system to our blood flow, body temperature and overall cellular health, our bodies need water the same way automobiles need fuel. They simply can’t run efficiently without it.
However, most of us – up to 75 percent – are walking through our days chronically dehydrated.
So what happens when we don’t give our bodies the water they need to thrive, and over a long period of time? Symptoms of chronic dehydration include:
- A dry mouth: Saliva has antibacterial properties. So in addition to having a dry mouth, people who are dehydrated often have bad breath.
- Lethargy and a lack of energy: When you are dehydrated, your blood pressure drops and blood flow to the brain slows down.
- Dry skin: Your skin needs hydration from the inside out.
- Constipation: Your colon relies on water to keep things moving. Without it, it can’t work as efficiently.
- Headaches: Our brains contain small blood vessels that need water in order to work efficiently. Dehydration can cause anything from dull aches to migraines.
- Lack of concentration and memory: In one study, women who had hydration levels just 1 percent below their optimal level reported a loss of focus.
- Joint pain: Like oil for a car, our joints need water. Without it, we are more prone to arthritis and other joint issues.
- Weight gain: Our bodies often recognize thirst as hunger, causing us to eat when we are really just thirsty.
- High blood pressure: By causing the body to hold onto sodium, dehydration can lead to high blood pressure.
- Kidney disease: Not having enough fluid in the body can harm the kidneys.
- High cholesterol: When we are chronically dehydrated, our blood cholesterol levels increase and try to help maintain the pliability of cellular membranes.
How much should you drink a day
So how much water should you drink a day? There is a wide range of advice on how much water you should drink a day. Like everything, the amount of water you should drink varies a bit depending upon your weight and height, activity level and climate.
However, overall, most research suggests that the average, healthy adult needs approximately 64 ounce of water a day. That equals 8, 8-ounce cups of water a day, or about 2 liters of water a day.
To get a bit more granular, one way to calculate the exact amount your body needs is to divide your bodyweight in half. So, for instance, if you weigh 150 pounds. you need about 75 ounces of water a day – a bit more if you are active and in a warm climate.
By staying hydrated, you will be better able to:
- Flush toxins from your system
- Absorb nutrients
- Protect your body tissue and cells
- Control your weight
- Increase your energy and focus
Easy ways to increase your water intake
To some, drinking 64 ounces of water a day can seem daunting. But it’s easier than you think! Here are some simple ways to increase your water intake throughout the day and ensure you are getting the recommended amount:
- Fill a 32 ounce bottle with water before you go to sleep at night. Upon waking, drink all 32 ounces while you are showering and getting dressed. The water will increase your energy first thing in the morning, ensuring nutrients can move easily throughout your body during the day, and will make the next 32 seem to come naturally.
- Set reminders on your calendar. Not only will this remind you to make time to hydrate, but it will ensure you are getting movement throughout your day.
- Spruce up your water with citrus slices, mint, or a little club soda to give it a kick. Freeze ice cubes will small lemon slices in them and add them to the 32 ounces you drink each morning.
- Include it in your daily routine. For instance, strive to drink one glass before each meal, one glass when you get home from work, and two to four glasses after you workout.
- Eat your water. Your entire water intake doesn’t have to come from just beverages. Remember that fruits and vegetables are packed with water and nutrients. Snacking on them throughout your day will help you stay hydrated.
How to make sure the water you are drinking is clean
Did you know that bottled water contains more contaminants and chemicals than most tap water?
Although the scenery on the bottle and the celebrity drinking it would have you believe otherwise, studies show that tap water is actually much safer for you than bottled water. Here’s why:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. However, the FDA is not required to regulate water to the same extent that the EPA is and does not prioritize it. This means that approximately 60 to 70 percent of bottled water is free from FDA, or any, regulation.
- Plastic water bottles leak chemicals and carcinogens. The longer the water sits in the bottle, the higher the level of chemicals and carcinogens there are.
- More than 25 percent of bottled water comes from municipal supply anyway.
So how can you make sure the water you are drinking is pure and clean, and isn’t doing more harm to your body than good?
- Drink water fresh from the tap.
- Test your local water, and invest in a high-quality, at-home water filtration system.
- Only drink water from 100% stainless steel, BPA-free containers.
Healthy Human is not just a brand. It’s a lifestyle.
We design all of our products with our mission in mind: To improve the health of humans and of the planet by changing the way the world drinks water. Join us!