How much water do you drink a day? How much water should you drink a day? It’s a big question! Today, we’re going to answer that question once and for all!
We’re going to talk about how adequate daily hydration can help with everything from depression to insomnia, and I’m going to give you the lowdown on how your caffeine intake affects the amount of water you need to drink in a day. I’m also telling you how drinking water can boost your metabolism, what happened to Bob at the doctor when he was not well-hydrated, and I’m sharing what keeps me motivated to drink lots of water every day.
As always, click on any pink text link or image throughout the post for more information.
Daily Water Intake: What You Probably Already Know
Hydration is a hot topic for everyone, from health & wellness gurus to beauty experts! That means when it comes to how much water you should drink in a day, you probably already know more than you think! (Always a good thing, amirite? ????) Let’s run down the commonly-known facts about what water does for our bodies.
- Helps with digestion, kidney function, and elimination.
- Helps your kidneys to remove toxins from your body.
- Allows your cells to take in nutrients.
- Allows your cells to expel waste products.
- Moisturizes your skin and increases its elasticity. (An often-forgotten beauty secret! In fact, keeping hydrated in order to maximize your lips’ fullness is one of my Tips For Aging Lips!)
- Lubricates your joints, thus reducing joint pain. (Attention anyone with arthritis!)
- Prevents muscle cramping. (Water helps muscles relax and contract.)
Daily Water Intake: What You Don’t Already Know
1. Helps Your Heart
Did you know our bodies are over 60% water? It’s the main ingredient in our blood! Water increases blood volume in your arteries, so blood and oxygen are transported around your body more efficiently, with fewer heartbeats.
Recently, Bob headed to the doctor for his annual checkup and blood work. He usually remembers to hydrate well before doing this. For some reason, that morning, he was so focused on not eating before his appointment (since they were checking cholesterol), he forgot to drink too! Unfortunately, that meant he had less blood volume, and the phlebotomist had a terrible time finding a vein. After several attempts, she found one, but it took a lot longer than he wanted to fill up those vials with blood! (Not to mention he ended up bruised!)
2. Prevents Headaches
When you’re dehydrated, your brain contracts or shrinks from fluid loss! This causes the brain to actually pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache. (Once you rehydrate, your brain plumps up and goes back to normal, relieving the headache.
3. Staves Off Depression
4. Helps With Insomnia
your brain also needs water to produce melatonin. When your body is dehydrated, fewer essential amino acids are produced. These are required to produce melatonin.
5. Boosts Your Metabolism
A few years ago, the “Water Diet” made a big, er, splash, by suggesting that people could lose weight by drinking very cold water, forcing the body to burn more calories by bringing the water up to body temperature. While this sounds good (especially if you’re hot and flashy, like so many of us!), it was quickly debunked as just another fad diet.
So does water help with weight loss? Yes! Since water is involved in nearly every cellular process in your body (including metabolism), you need those processes to run at maximum efficiency for optimum health. According to Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, “Your metabolism is basically a series of chemical reactions that take place in your body. Staying hydrated keeps those chemical reactions moving smoothly.” Being even 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism.
Research has also shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you feel fuller and eat less. In one study, researchers found that people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at each meal! That doesn’t sound like a lot — but multiply 75 calories at all three meals by 365 days a year.
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?
So what’s the real truth about how much water we should be drinking? According to everyone’s favorite physician, WebMD, it depends on variables like your size and weight. Health experts used to recommend the “8×8 Rule,” which instructed everyone to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day, but in a stellar move of logic, this amount was eventually adjusted for each unique individual. Daily recommendations now sit at half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. Click HERE for a personalized hydration calculator.
The esteemed Mayo Clinic physicians deferred to the Institute of Medicine experts, who determined that an adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day, while it’s about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day for men. Wait! Total beverages? Like coffee, iced tea, or diet soda? ☕
Caffeine & Hydration
What about the diuretic effects of caffeine? While caffeine does increase urine output, studies show that our bodies can adjust to the long-term use of caffeine over time and might no longer lose significant amounts of fluid through urination.
Water in Food
Water found in foods counts toward your total too! Which ones have the highest water content?
- Lettuce (96%)
- Celery (95%)
- Cucumber (95%)
- Tomatoes (94%)
- Zucchini (94%)
- Bell Peppers (92%)
- Cauliflower (92%)
- Watermelon (92%)
- Strawberries (91%)
- Skim Milk (91%)
- Cantelope (90%)
- Peaches (89%)
- Grapefruit (88%)
- Oranges (88%)
The Bottom Line
Try to eat or drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty, and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
How to Drink More Water
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty-three percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. (That number includes 36 percent who drink one to three cups and 7 percent who drink none.) Also, as we get older, we tend to absorb less water. Two things have helped me drink more water: a fruit infuser and a cute water bottle. (I know!)
About two years ago, I bought this fruit infuser pitcher, and it’s really helped me do a better job of hydrating! I love it because it comes with a fruit infuser, a tea brewer, and a freezable cooling insert. It’s acrylic, so it is shatterproof, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and sized to fit easily in the refrigerator door. It also came with recipes and ideas, which I found so helpful.
If you want to fruit infuse, but you’d like a water bottle instead of a big ole’ pitcher, you might try this one I just ordered. It’s highly rated, and people loved the fact that the bottle has time-marked lines right on it to keep them on track with their intake. It holds 32 oz., it’s shatterproof, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and it’s sweatproof because it comes with a neoprene sleeve to keep your water cold for longer. It comes in 10 different colors!
Two years ago, I splurged on the LARQ Self Cleaning Water Bottle for travel. It’s a genius self-cleaning water bottle! Little did I know that with the current state we’re in, I’d be even happier to have it than I originally was! Larq uses a UV-sanitizing light right in the cap to provide pure water in only 60 seconds! It’s insulated, lightweight, and rechargeable. It purifies your water and cleans the bottle’s inner surfaces by eliminating up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. It comes in 3 color choices and holds a charge for about a month!
According to Forbes magazine, humans buy one million plastic bottles per minute. On top of that, 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled! Yikes! If you’re like me (er, shallow, but honest), a well-made, reusable water bottle can help you do your part!
Click on any image in the collage below for more information.
What are your tips for drinking more? I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment and let me know! Drink up, friends. We’ve pulled together our favorite water bottles below and told you why we love them.
Click on any image in the boutique below for details.