How much water should I drink a day? Water is the essence of life, and knowledge is power. While you might turn to Google to find out how much H2O you need to stay healthy, happy, and hydrated, the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all.
WHAT’S THE RECOMMENDED DAILY WATER INTAKE?
We’ve all heard the 8×8 rule: drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day. If only it were so simple.
According to Healthline, experts aren’t sure where this recommendation originated. Sixty-four ounces is a rough starting point, but your personalized recommended daily water intake depends on several factors, including your height, weight, and level of physical activity. But, guzzling glasses of water is just one way you can hydrate your body. Eating water-rich foods like watermelon, grapefruit, cucumber, cantaloupe, and salad greens will add to your total H2O intake, as will drinking tea, juice, and other beverages.
Today, we’re going to talk about dehydration and share a few tips and tricks for staying hydrated.
CAN I DRINK TOO MUCH WATER?
Believe it or not, water intoxication, or overhydration, is a real condition. Drinking too much water can cause the sodium and electrolytes in your body to drop to dangerous levels. But how likely is it that you will drink too much water?
As Healthline points out, the people most susceptible to drinking too much water are elite athletes in the heat of competition: marathon runners, rugby players, and endurance cyclists. Other than that, people with health conditions like liver disease or kidney problems should monitor their water intake more closely since these conditions make your body hold onto more fluid.
But doesn’t your body naturally tell you how much water to drink? A 2016 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that the human brain plays a more active role in regulating our water intake than was previously thought. The study determined that the human body activates a “swallowing inhibition” after you consume plenty of water. According to the data, your brain jumps into action to stop you from guzzling water non-stop.
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
Instead of worrying about drinking too much water, focus on staying hydrated. According to research conducted by Quench, more than 75% of those surveyed say they don’t get the recommended daily amount of water, meaning as many as three-fourths of us are living our lives chronically dehydrated.
While your body kicks into gear to alert you when you’ve had ample water, it also gives you clues when it needs more of life’s most precious resource. When you need to step up your water intake game, you may notice these telltale signs of chronic dehydration:
- Muscle Weakness
- Dry Skin
HOW CAN I DRINK MORE WATER THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
Drinking enough water throughout the day does require intentional and thoughtful planning. It’s easy to get sucked in to the day-to-day hustle and bustle only to realize at 6 PM you’ve only had one glass of water and start chugging water in an effort to catch up…which then might result in multiple trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. No one wants that. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), here are a few things you can do to drink more water throughout the day:
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day (bonus tip: freeze water safe bottles at night to keep your water ice cold the next day).
- Opt for a glass of water over soda or other sugary drinks
- Ask your waitress for water when you eat out – plus, you’ll save money and reduce calories! Add a lemon, lime, cucumber, or other piece of fruit/veggie for a little added flavor
- Plan meals that include foods with those water-rich foods we mentioned earlier (fruits, veggies, and salad greens – oh my!)
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