The amount of water that we need depends on many factors. Age, gender, lifestyle, physical activity, and overall health can impact how much we need in a day. There really isn’t a magic number or rule to follow; however, the 8-8-ounce rule or half our body weight is an easy way for us remember we’re drinking an adequate amount and replenishing any water loss throughout the day. An easy way to check if we’re hydrated is the color check – if your urine is pale, you’re staying hydrated but, if it is a dark yellow or amber color, you probably will need to increase your water intake.
Why Is Drinking Water Important?
When it comes to water, many of us automatically assume that we’re not drinking enough throughout the day. On average, about 60 percent of our body is water and it impacts every cell in our body. We understand that it is vital to our overall health but struggle to squeeze it in our daily routine, and we’ve heard various suggestions about how much we really need, such as 8-8-ounce glasses in a day, half our body weight, or to sip water before we become thirsty. So how much do we actually need?
How Does Water Affect Our Body?
First, let’s discuss how water affects our body. Water is considered an essential nutrient and has numerous important functions in our body, including:
- carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells
- supports healthy digestion and bladder function by flushing out bacteria
- cushions joints
- protects our tissues and organs
- regulates body temperature
- maintains normal electrolyte balance
- helps maintain normal blood pressure and heartbeat
Studies have found that dehydration can cause low energy, headaches, fatigue, constipation, kidney stones, bladder cancer, and dehydrated skin. Studies also found that proper hydration can support weight management – participants who had water with their meals consumed less food; it was also found that drinking water provided a temporarily boost in metabolism.
How to Increase Your Water Intake
We can increase our water intake by drinking water when thirsty, consume water with meals, carrying a reusable water bottle, or adding flavors or fruit such as a lemon to our water. We also do obtain some hydration from other beverages, but it’s encouraged to avoid sugary beverages. Food will also provide some hydration, especially from fruits and vegetables like strawberries, watermelon, celery, and lettuce that have a high water content.
Plenty of water and the right supplement program can help you feel your best. Take our free assessment to get custom-tailored recommendations based on your unique needs. Ready to have high-quality vitamins delivered right to your door? Get your personalized recommendations.
- Jéquier E, Constant F. Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010;64(2):115-23.
- Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink. Accessed December 20, 2019.
- Available at: http://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-much-water-do-you-need. Accessed December 20, 2019.