Drinking enough water is always important for our health and well-being. It’s especially critical in summer heat or when working outdoors. The standard recommendation is 8-10 (or more) 8 ounce glasses per day. Here are 3 reasons to drink enough water every day.
- In general, our bodies need water to function and drinking more helps your body operate more effectively – including your immune system.
- Drinking water improves cognitive function which means we are more aware of our actions and their impact. That helps us make healthy and safe decisions.
- Adequate hydration can relieve headaches, improve weight maintenance and weight loss, and give us more energy.
The Warning Signs of Dehydration
We hear frequently that we need to avoid dehydration; do you know what to watch for that indicates you may be dehydrated? Be aware of these symptoms:
• Elevated body temperature
• Dry/chapped lips and tongue
• Dry skin
• Water retention problems
• Muscle or joint soreness
• Hoarse voice
• Muscle cramps
• Low-volume and/or dark-colored urine
• Light-headedness and loss of energy
Seven Ways to Drink More Water
Here are some great ideas to help you increase your water intake every day.
- Drink Water Before Every Meal, Snack and Cup of Coffee or Other Beverage
- Make Infused Water – It adds flavor and may make drinking more appealing. The simplest way is to add wedges of lemon or lime to your water after squeezing some of the juice into your glass. You can also experiment with fruits, vegetables and herbs to find flavors that you especially enjoy. Read more about doing this here: https://carolbrusegar.com/infused-water-for-health/
- Choose a Cup or Bottle You Love to Use – It’s not just appearance, but functionality. You want it to be easy to hold onto while walking. If you drive a lot, you want it to fit perfectly in your cup holder. Depending on your activities, you may want other features. For example, if you bike, you may want a tight lid, but one that is easy to pop off when drinking while riding. You also want the size that contains the amount of water that you need.
- Limit Other Drinks You Consume – You can still consume juice or soda occasionally but get in the habit of going first for water when thirsty.
- Dilute Juice When You Have It – If you add 4 ounces of water to 8 ounces of juice, you are adding to your day’s water intake as well as reducing your calories, carbs and sugar for that drink.
- Enjoy Fruits and Veggies With High Water Content – this can augment your consumption on days when you have not had as much water. Those with high water content include cucumbers, grapefruit, apples, pineapple, lettuce, celery, radishes and watermelon.
- Try Some Water Drinking Reminders Throughout Your Day – If you get into the habit of drinking a glass of water in connection with things you regularly do, you won’t forget to drink enough water. For example, drink a glass of water:
- Before every meal, snack and other beverage as mentioned earlier
- When you wake up
- Before or after walking or workouts
- After every trip to the bathroom
- Every time you enter your office or home
Track Your Intake
As you are trying to increase your water intake, it can be very helpful to track it on a daily basis until it is so much a routine that you no longer need to it. It can help to track for a couple of days before you begin to increase intake so that you have an idea what you ordinarily consume. Choose an easy way to track it for you – a notepad or planner, an app on your phone, a program on your computer.
Remember your goal is 8-10 glasses (8 ounces each) per day. Staying hydrated is important to our health all the time, and even more during the heat of summer. It’s a simple way to increase our general health.