Do you feel like you’re not drinking enough water?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water per day. And, of that 43%, 36% only drink one to three cups per day. Additionally, 7% of that 43% say they don’t drink water during the day at all!
These statistics are alarming, especially when you consider how important water is for our bodily functions. But, how much water should I be drinking each day?
The truth is, everyone has different water needs, just like everyone has different exercise and nutritional needs. If you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking each day, read on to find out.
Why Do You Need to Drink Water?
Before we talk about how much water you need to drink in a day, let’s first talk about why you need to be drinking water at all. As we all know, water helps quench our thirst. But, water is much more than just a thirst quencher. Drinking water offers the following benefits:
- Lubricates the joints and muscles
- Forms mucus and saliva that helps us digest food and keep our mouths, eyes, and nose moist
- Hydrates and promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Regulates our internal body temperature
- Cushions the spinal cord, brain, and other sensitive tissues
- Regulates the digestive system
- Helps maintain blood pressure
- Keeps the airways open and alleviates symptoms of asthma
- Prevents kidney damage
- Boosts exercise performance
- Promotes healthy weight loss
- Reduces the change of getting a hangover
- Improves your memory and mood
- Helps reduce sugar cravings
- Reduces headaches, migraines, and constipation
- Helps manage anxiety
As you can see, drinking water is beneficial for all sorts of reasons. Not to mention, we need to drink water in order to survive. While humans can live for about three weeks without food, we can only live three to four days without water.
How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?
As we mentioned earlier, the amount of water you need to drink in a day depends on a variety of factors. We’ve all heard that drinking eight glasses per day is the magic number, but this isn’t the best amount for everyone.
Generally speaking, men should be drinking about 13 cups, or 3 liters, of water each day. Women, on the other hand, should aim to drink about 9 cups or 2 liters of water each day.
However, you should also look at your weight to get an accurate picture of how much water you need to drink. For every pound you weigh, you should aim to drink half an ounce of water. So, if you weigh 120 lbs, you should aim to drink 60 oz of water per day, which is a little under 8 cups.
Here are some other factors that can affect how much water you need to drink per day:
- Location: If you live in a hot, humid environment, you’ll need to increase your water consumption
- Your Diet: If you drink a lot of coffee and caffeinated beverages, then you’re likely losing a lot of water through urination, so you’ll likely need to drink more. Same if you need a lot of spicy and salty foods, as these can cause you to retain water
- Activity Levels: The more active you are, the more water you’ll need to drink. You should drink about 20 ounces of water two to three hours before working out. For every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, you should drink seven to ten ounces of water.
- General Health: If you’re suffering from an infection or fever, you’re likely losing a lot of fluids through vomiting and diarrhea, so you’ll need to up your water intake. Those who suffer from diabetes also need to drink more water
If you’re pregnant or nursing, you’ll also need to drink more water throughout the day to make up for the fluids you lose when breastfeeding.
How to Drink More Water
Of course, drinking more water throughout the day is easier said than done. Here are some tips that can help you boost your water intake:
Set a Daily Goal
Once you understand your fluid needs based on the above factors, you should set a daily goal for drinking water. The simple act of setting a goal can be enough to motivate you to stay on track.
If you can, try to break down your goal into chunks. For example, if your goal is to drink 64 ounces of water per day, make a smaller goal saying that you want to drink the first 32 ounces before noon.
Keep a Water Bottle Handy
Keeping a water bottle at your side at all times can help make drinking more water second nature. Just make sure you use a reusable water bottle, as plastic ones contain toxins that are bad for you and the environment.
It’s also a good idea to buy a water bottle with a measurement tracker on it so you can easily keep track of how much water you’ve drunk and how much you have left to consume.
Set a Reminder
During a busy day, it can be difficult to make drinking more water a priority. This is why we suggest setting reminders on your phone so you remember to hydrate throughout the day.
Flavor It Up
If you think plain old water is boring, then try adding some flavor to help you boost your consumption. You can slice up some lemons, cucumbers, or mint leaves to add a boost of flavor to your water.
You can also buy water enhancers in a liquid or powder form that will boost the taste of your water. Just be aware that many of these products contain added sugars, so you should use them sparingly.
If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you should also consider purchasing an Amana refrigerator water filter.
Are You Ready to Drink More Water?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “How much water should I be drinking?”, it’s time to get hydrated. Before you know it, you’ll be noticing all of the physical and mental benefits of drinking more water.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more healthy living tips and tricks.
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