Adequate water intake is a foundation of healthy living. But, with so many different recommendations floating around the internet, it’s hard to know how much water you should drink in a day.
Historically, we’ve been told that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day for a total of 64 ounces. However, what we’ve learned is that there’s actually no scientific evidence to support this recommendation as a standard for all individuals.
The truth is that how much water you should drink in a day should be determined on an individual basis. There are a variety of factors that will influence your recommended intake such as your age, gender, amount of physical activity, environment and overall health. For example, women that are pregnant, breastfeeding or even just those that are reproductive age, should consume more than the average individual.
If you were hoping for more of a concrete number, try drinking half of your body weight in ounces water each day. For example, if you weight 200 lbs. strive to take in 100 ounces of water. If that doesn’t sound attainable, slowly increase how much you drink by a few ounces each day.
Why Water is Important
If you’re like us and need to know the reason why you should do something not just that you should do it, here are some key reasons why water is important.
First off, did you know that our bodies are designed to do the most important thing first? Our kidneys remove toxic waste from our bloodstreams, and to do that effectively, they need to properly hydrated.
One of our liver’s jobs is to metabolize fat. On a molecular level, our bodies can be dehydrated even if we aren’t showing signs of dehydration. And, when you’re dehydrated, your body does the important things first in order to survive. And you guessed it, metabolizing fat is not high on the list of priorities for survival.
So, without adequate hydration, our kidneys can’t carry the load of filtering our blood on their own forcing our livers to step in and help. When the liver is busy helping filter out toxins, it isn’t worried about metabolizing fat.
Other reasons why water is important include:
- Regulating your body’s temperature
- Lubricating and cushioning your joints
- Protecting your spine and other tissues
How to Drink More Water
It’s important to know that your recommended water intake doesn’t only come from strictly drinking water. According to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, the average North American gets about 20 percent of his or her daily water intake through food, and that counts toward healthy hydration. You can help increase your water intake by eating raw fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelon, cucumbers and strawberries.
Another great way to help you drink more water is to try infused water. Not only will mixing in different combinations of fruits and herbs add flavor, but it also helps add some extra vitamins and nutrients to your day. Not sure where to start, try these 10 simple infused combinations from Taste of Home.
Personalized Nutrition Plan
If you’re interested in a comprehensive health and nutrition plan to help you manage your weight, including how much water you should drink based on your individual needs, goals and lifestyle, call Total HealthcareMD at (919) 436-3777.