The Importance of Staying Hydrated: Why Drink More Water?
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to stay hydrated, but have you ever wondered, why drink more water? Does it really make a difference?
It does make a difference to your health and wellbeing, both in the short term and the long run! This article covers several important topics:
- 7 important answers to the question, why drink more water?
- A general guideline for how much water to drink.
- A few easy-to-follow tips on how to increase your water intake.
Why drink more water to stay well hydrated?
Here are seven important reasons why it’s important to drink water throughout the day.
- Water helps your energy and brain function. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact your mood, concentration, and memory. It can also cause tiredness and headaches (Healthline). You’ll feel better and think more clearly when you drink up!
- Hydration supports skin health. I once heard it described like this: the difference between a raisin and grape is moisture. Since then, I’ve never forgotten the importance of hydrating my skin! Dehydration makes skin appear more wrinkled, while staying hydrated can give skin a smoother appearance (WebMD).
- Water helps your body use minerals and other nutrients. Because many of the nutrients from food dissolve in water, drinking water makes it possible for them to reach different parts of your body (Mayo Clinic).
- Water flushes out toxins from your body. It’s critical for liver function, which filters waste from the body (Healthline). Also, your body uses and needs water for all of its excretion functions.
- Along those same lines, water is important for healthy digestion. Proper hydration can relieve constipation (Healthline). It also helps regulate stomach acidity, therefore decreasing the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers (Medical News Today).
- Drinking water can help with weight loss. Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism (Healthline). Enjoying water before a meal also helps you feel fuller, so you may eat less. Also, did you know that people can mistake thirst as hunger? If you think you’re hungry and reach for a snack, sometimes your body actually just needs more water instead. Staying hydrated can help avoid any misinterpretation of thirst and therefore reduce calorie intake.
- Hydration maximizes physical performance. If you’re a sports enthusiast or love to make the most of your workouts, you need the extra water to support your activity. Proper hydration impacts your physical strength, power, and endurance (Healthline).
How much water should I drink?
After understanding why to drink more water, the next question is, how much water should I drink? A good guideline to follow is to drink half your weight in ounces every day. So if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water a day. That’s the equivalent of 10 8-oz glasses of water.
You may need to increase your water intake if you’re physically active, you live in a hot climate, you’re spending time outside in the sun, or you choose to drink coffee or alcohol.
Please keep in mind that while I love researching and writing about wellness topics, you’ll need to consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your individual health needs. (Please view disclaimer here.)
How can I drink more water?
If your ideal water intake seems like a lofty goal, there are simple, practical ways to increase the amount you drink.
- Track how much water you drink every day. This is key to knowing whether you’re staying hydrated enough. I’ve been tracking my water intake for years, and I still need to do it every day or I get off track. My method is to simply keep tally marks in my daily planner! If you prefer a more formal method of tracking, there are many apps you can download on your phone. Here are just a few free ones:
- Daily Water Tracker Reminder
- Hydro Coach
- Water Drink Reminder
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It will help hydrate your body after not drinking over the course of the night and help start your metabolism. Plus, it will give you that satisfying feeling of starting the day off right and marking off your first glass of water in your tracker.
- Swap less healthy drinks for water. When you would normally grab a soda or other sugary drink, simply drink a glass of water instead. If you need to, you can start by swapping just one drink a day and gradually increase the number over time. Not only will this benefit your health, but your wallet will thank you also!
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- Make your water fun by adding healthy flavors to it. Try adding any of the following to your glass of water for a refreshing upgrade:
- Fresh herbs, like mint or basil
- A drop of essential oil (make sure it’s 100% pure and labeled for internal use)
- Invest in a reusable water bottle that you absolutely love. Get one that’s both attractive and functional so you’ll want to use it again and again. Make sure you know how much water it holds so you can keep track of your intake. Purchasing a reusable bottle will also help the environment so you’re not purchasing disposable plastic bottles!
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Food can help you stay hydrated, too! If you’re eating a healthy diet, 20% of your water intake will come from foods. (WebMD)
With these tips, hopefully you’ll find it easier and more enjoyable to meet your daily intake goal. Once you start seeing all the benefits, you’re likely to feel even more motivated to keep it up!
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