Your body is made up of approximately 60% water. Your brain is made up of approximately 85% water. Given these percentages, it is pretty clear that water is essential for our bodies to function properly. It helps to flush toxins out of our bodies and transport nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Without proper nutrients and oxygen, our cells end up “complaining” and create ailments.
Dehydration can affect us in many ways ranging from a mild headache to seriously impacting our ability to function. Symptoms of dehydration may include headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, hunger, or even heart palpitations. Many of us experience some of these symptoms, without even realizing that we’re actually dehydrated. So how much water should you drink? It really comes down to the individual. There are so many lifestyle factors to take into consideration. Do you workout or play sports? Do you live in a warmer climate/is it summer time? How many water-rich foods do you eat? How many dehydrating liquids do you consume? In my opinion, we should aim to drink half of our body weight in ounces (140 lbs. = 70 oz. of water), then take lifestyle factors into consideration.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Increase your water intake during the following situations:
- hot temperatures
- high altitude
- pregnancy/breast feeding
- increased alcohol consumption
- Limit dehydrating drinks (or supplement with plain water) such as:
- Include water-rich foods in your diet:
- cucumbers are 95% water
- watermelons are 92% water
- strawberries are 91% water
- salad greens are 90% water
Bottom line, listen to your body. If you feel hungry, tired, or have a headache, reach for a glass of water first. I like to keep a bottle of water with me at all times – I never leave the house without water in hand! If you always have it readily available, you’re more likely to take a few extra sips throughout the day. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to take a step towards better health.
How much water do you drink each day?