Water is essential to our bodies for numerous reasons. Our bodies are 60% water and it impacts nearly every aspect of our health. Water is important in cellular metabolism, digestion, weight loss, hunger satiation, energy, flushing toxins from our body, and pretty much aids in every bodily function.
It helps cushion and protect your joints and plays a role in how clear our skin is. Without water, all these bodily processes decline and our cells shrink. Therefore hydration is key to keeping everything in our bodies running smoothly.
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?
How much water should you be drinking in a day? I get asked this question all the time, and it's actually critically important to your health and well being. Exactly how much water you need depends on your activity levels, the weather, and your own unique biology. For example, if you are running a marathon and its also warm outside, you are going to need more water.
You'll often hear a static number quoted. "You need X number of glasses per day." While this is intended to be helpful, it's very misleading. Our bodies are different sizes, heights, and weights. The one-size-fits-all doesn't work simply because our bodies are not all the same size.
Calculating How Much Water To Drink
If you want to calculate a daily water goal specific to your body, here is a simple formula you can use:
Your weight in pounds (lbs) / 2 = ____ Ounces (Oz) of water per day.
Example: 180 lbs / 2 = 90 Oz of water/ day.
Or if you prefer the metric system:
Your weight in Kilograms (kg) / 30 = ____ Liters (L) of water per day.
Example: 90kg / 30 = 3 L of water/ day.
Plan for Success
Once you have calculated how much water you should be drinking a day, set yourself up to succeed. There are many ways to remind yourself to drink water. There are apps you can get for your phone to remind you. There are giant water bottles with measurement to help you keep track of your consumption. I prefer to keep one of these large measured jugs of water in my office because it helps to visually see my entire day's goal right in front of me. I sometimes like to add a little fresh lemon or orange to my water to make it taste more appealing.
Make sure to spread it out throughout the day as well so you don’t feel sick chugging it all at once. A good sign you are well hydrated is clear to very pale yellow urine.
Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Water
If you aren’t getting enough water, your body will show telltale signs. Indicators of dehydration include dark urine, dizziness, dry skin, headaches, digestive issues or constipation, decreased energy, anxiety or mood changes, low blood pressure, and go figure, hunger and thirst! Remember, other variables can increase how much water you need, so you may need more than your calculation above. Dry climates with low humidity, hot weather, and physical exertion can all put more demands on your hydration levels.
The Dangers of Plastic Bottles
Try not to drink out of plastic bottles. Not only are they bad for the environment, they can be bad for your health. Plastic bottles exposed to heat and time can leach endocrine disrupters into your water and that is not good. If you are using water bottles, aim for glass or stainless steel. They can make a huge difference in your health over the long term.
What are some of the ways you motivate and/or remind yourself to drink water? Leave your tips in the comments below.