Water is absolutely essential to our survival and drinking enough is crucial for optimal health and wellness. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week, or less, without water. We recommending our clients drink enough water every single day and hope you do too.
Your body is made up of roughly 70% water. Your body needs water to:
- remove waste
- regulate body temperature
- carry nutrients (food) and oxygen to cells making them available to the body
- protect and cushion your joints and organs
- aid in the digestion process and prevent constipation
Water is lost through urination, sweating, and even breathing. Often, you may not even realize you’re dehydrated. Symptoms include headaches, pain in joints and muscles, lower back pain, and constipation.
Here are a few easy ways to see if you may need to drink more water:
- Look before you flush - Urine with a strong odor and a yellow/brown color may indicate that you aren’t getting enough water. (Note: Some foods/vitamins can color/scent your urine without dehydrating you)
- Thirst - Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, however, the body’s need for water is not always recognized by the mind: you need water long before you feel thirsty.
- Daytime fatigue - The most common cause of daytime fatigue and drowsiness is actually mild dehydration. Water leads to increased energy levels.
- Remember Me? - Do you remember the last time you urinated? If not, you could probably use some more water.
For most, it is much more than 8 glasses a day! The estimate we use is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. The outcome gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink.
For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should take in at least 80 ounces of water per day! (160lbs ÷ 2 = 80oz of water per day)
On exercise days, you should add 8oz of water for every 20 minutes you are active.
At first, you may think that this is too difficult, but your body will adapt while your energy and well-being will improve. You can consume about 20% of your water need by the foods you eat. The rest of your water should come from the beverages you drink however Plain Water is the #1 choice. Here are a few guidelines when choosing beverages other than water:
- Soda - We do not recommend drinking sodas as they have a lot of sugar in them and may cause you to take in more calories than you need. Not to mention the other additives, coloring, and flavorings.
- Coffee & Tea - Herbal teas that aren't diuretic are fine and can count toward your water intake. However, when consuming coffee and teas with diuretic qualities, you may want to add an equal amount of water on top of your daily intake.
- Sports Drinks - Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial at certain times, just look out for added sugar, colorings, other additives and calories that you don't need.
- Juice - Juices are good because they have vitamins and nutrients but they also often contain a lot of sugar and should not be a replacement for water.
- Alcohol - If you drink alcohol, you should add at least an equal amount of water to your daily intake, but realistically, more.