Water is vital to our survival. Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies by weight. Fluid must be constantly replenished in order for the body to do its job. Proper hydration helps:
- Regulate body temperature
- Assist in flushing bodily waste
- Metabolize and transport carbohydrates and proteins in the bloodstream
- Act as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord
- Lubricate joints
- Form saliva
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways to make sure you are getting enough water.
1. Watch for Signs
Did you know that fatigue could be a sign of dehydration? Next time you are feeling tired, try drinking a big glass of water before you reach for that sugary, caffeine-laden beverage.
Besides fatigue, there are other signs that you may need more water. When you feel thirsty, it is an early sign of dehydration. Feeling hungry? Many times a hunger pang is just the body’s way of asking for a drink of water. Other signs include “brain fog,” dry mouth, lightheadedness, constipation, and muscle cramps. One study even linked dehydration with degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower ability to concentrate, and headache symptoms.
2. Know How Much
To determine how much water you require each day, divide your body weight in half. The result is the approximate number of water in ounces you should drink daily. So if you weigh 180 pounds, aim for at least 90 ounces of water a day. That’s about 12 cups. This total can vary depending on the climate you live in, the environment, your physical activity level, or other factors. Ask your health care professional to be absolutely sure.
To see how much water you are getting, keep a record of your daily intake or use a smartphone app. Tracking the water you drink might surprise you with how little you are actually getting.
3. Make It a Habit
Get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day and with every meal. Many people find that carrying a water bottle at all times is a great reminder that they need to drink. Water bottles with measurement markings are also handy in adding up how many ounces you are consuming each day.
You can also gain fluids from foods you eat, such as broth soups and foods with high water content like celery, tomatoes, or melons.
4. Add Some Flavor
If plain water is too bland for you, it’s easy to create infused water with fresh ingredients. How does strawberry kiwi mint water sound? Want to try refreshing lemon lavender? Basil cucumber can also hit the spot. Have fun and create your own flavor concoctions with some of these ingredients:
- Sweet fruits like kiwis, watermelons, strawberries, or melons
- Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or oranges
- Veggies like cucumbers, jalapenos, or celery
- Herbs like basil, mint, or rosemary
Wash your ingredients (organic if possible). Cut them into chunks or slices as needed, and place those in a pitcher (preferably glass), Mason jar, or even your water bottle before filling the container with water. Place the container in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to steep. The result is fragrant, flavor-infused water with no added calories, sugar, or artificial flavors or colors.
If you do not drink the infused water within 24 hours, strain the liquid to remove the added ingredients and keep up to three days. Enjoy!