How much water do you drink in a day? Do you know the importance of water to the human body? Do you feel as long as you’re frequently drinking, it doesn’t matter what beverage it is? Keep reading to find out why H2O should be your primary source for hydration.
Why do we need H2O?
According to usgs.gov, the human body is 60% water. The brain and heart are 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery, 31%.
H2O is not only excellent for hydration, but we need it to:
- Form Saliva – digestion
- Keep mucosal membraines moist
- Allow the body’s cells to grow, reproduce and survive
- Flush out body waste
- Lubricate your joints
- Manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters that are needed by the brain
- Regulate body temperature
- Covert food for digestion
- Help deliver oxygen all over the body
5 Benefits of H2O
When we drink enough water it:
- Increases energy levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Flushes out toxins
- Improves skin complexion
- And maintains digestive regularity
How much water should you drink?
There are varying opinions on how much water you should drink. Mayoclinic states about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. And WebMD recommends you drink between half an ounce and an ounce for each pound you weigh every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water spread across the day.
If you feel dehydrated, have dark urine, and have infrequent urination, increase your water intake. However, if you feel overly hydrated, clear urine, and have persistent urination, then cut back. Experiment with your body to find the right balance. Your urine should be a pale yellow, not clear.
When should you drink water?
- In the morning – try to drink 20 to 32 ounces (2-3cups) to kick start your metabolism for the day.
- Before a meal – if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Before, during, and after exercise – in small doses so you don’t cause bloating.
- When you have a headache – possibly due to dehydration.
- Three to four hours before bed – so it doesn’t disturb your sleep.
How NOT to drink your Agua
- Plastic bottles – plastic water bottles are commonly made with Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been linked to possible health effects on the brain and affects children’s behavior.
- Too fast or too much – drinking to fast or too much at once can cause bloating and cramps.
- While eating – drinking while eating dilutes your digestive enzymes needed to properly digest your food. If you need to wash down your food take small sips. Or try to eat smaller bites so you don’t need to drink while eating.
- Cold – It’s easier for your body to absorb warm or room tempature water. It’s gentler on your stomach and on digestion. Cold beverages contract the blood vessels and restrict digestion.
Your agua should always be filtered. Invest in a high-quality filter like a Berkey or Aquasana. These are great for removing contaminants in our tap water.
Making water palletable
If you’re not a fan of H2O, then the below are great options.
- Flavored – Adding fruits and herbs add taste and provides medicinal benefits.
- Lemon – 8 oz warm filtered water with lemon and a pinch of chayenne pepper boosts your immune system and aids in healthy digestion for the day.
- Teas – tea is natures natural healer and a natural relaxer.
- Kombucha – fermented tea, said to improve digestion, strengthen immune system and detoxify.
Start slow. Begin by drinking water first upon waking in the morning. Then replace two of your current beverages in the day with water. After you’ve gotten used to it, you can wean off of all other drinks and make H2O your primary refreshment.
If you still find it difficult, try one or more of the action steps below:
- Set a daily goal
- Keep a refillable bottle near you at all times
- Set reminders
- Drink 1 glass before every meal
- Sip throughout the day
- Eat more foods high in water content:
- Lettuce: 96%
- Celery: 95%
- Zucchini: 95%
- Cabbage: 92%
- Watermelon: 91%
- Cantaloupe: 90%
- Honeydew melon: 90%
Eventually, it will become so routine you’ll start to crave it, and your body will thank you for it.
Let me know in the comments if you took on this challenge and how you made the change.
Share in the comments if you have any recipes for flavored water. Let’s encourage one another and build a solid road to health community.
Interested in more food challenges, try reading: