We all know that we should be drinking about 7-8 glasses of water every day. We also know that water is very important for our overall health. But most of the people these days are actually dehydrated and don’t even suspect it. So, how can we make ourselves to actually drink more water and make it a conscious decision instead of just trying to please the doctor?
Ok, let’s look first at the benefits of water and what it does for you!
Water is extremely important for internal organs’ cleansing, our beautiful skin, keeping cells of the body in good health, preventing headaches and acne, maintaining proper digestion and many other body functions. Water also flushes out toxins from our body, increases our energy, prevents dry skin and constipation, maintains flexible subtle joints, is greatly important for brain health and plays a big role in the absorption of nutrients into our cells.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult need?
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 l) of total beverages a day. For women is about 9 cups (2.2 l) of total beverages a day.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
We all have heard the advice, “Drink eight glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 l, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Just keep in mind that most of the fluids count toward the daily total, except coffee and black and green tea which are unfortunately dehydrating.
Here are a few factors that influence your water needs:
- Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 ml) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.
- Climate. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime.
- Illnesses/diseases. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. On the other hand, some conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 l) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 l ) of fluids a day.
Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colourless or light yellow – check the urine chart below – your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Here is the urine colour chart which helps you to understand whether you need to drink more water.
Now let’s see what we can do to increase amount of water we drink.
We have a 12 ways for you, please check them out and take a note. Even if you can manage to incorporate a few of them in to your daily life – it is already an improvement!!!
1. Start your day off with a large glass of warm water with a slice of lemon. You may also add some honey or apple cider vinegar to it. It will help to start up your metabolism, support detoxification and balance your pH.
2. Instead of setting down an empty glass, reﬁll it with water and keep sipping. Remember that the more water you drink, the less hungry you will feel and the less likely you will be to snack.
3. Don’t like plain water? Add some flavour to it! Add some orange, lemon or lime slices, fresh berries. mint or lime leaves.
4. If you’re feeling hungry and you’ve eaten recently, drink a cold glass of water, and wait a minute or two. You could just be simply dehydrated.
5. Build up your water levels gradually. Start with one or two glasses ﬁrst thing in the morning and add on.
6. Buy a few nice flavours of herbal tea. Lemon/Ginger, Peppermint, Masala Chai, Thyme, Nettle or Chamomile for relaxing evenings. It will count towards your daily intake!
7. Purchase a refillable water container. Just make sure it’s stainless steel or glass (get rid of the plastic bottles, even BPA-free). Carry your water bottle with you everywhere! Take a bottle of water with you on your walks.
8.At home always keep a glass of water handy while watching TV, doing laundry, making dinner or surﬁng the net.
9. Eat water-rich foods like watermelon (which is 90% water) for a refreshing, hydrating break from sipping. Just be sure to include the calories in your daily plan.
10. Instead of spending a fortune on bottled water, save your money and the environment and invest in a ﬁlter for your home unless you live in the country where tap water is not acceptable for drinking. You also may get a Brita (or similar) filter. Make tap water taste like bottled, at a fraction of the price.
11. Get a portable bottle with built-in filter, so you just use a tap water and never run out of it!
12.Track it. Once I started keeping track of my water intake it went up. One check mark for every glass consumed.