Complete hydration has lots of benefits, but you might not be experiencing them if you aren’t regularly focused on replenishing your fluids and electrolytes. Increasing your water intake can help improve the hydration of the stratum corneum, the outer layer of your skin, according to a review published in Skin Research and Technology. Staying hydrated can also help boost your mood and mental clarity, as well as aid in weight loss and body fat reduction, according to studies published in Nutrients.
According to Lisa Moskovitz, RDN, founder of the New York Nutrition Group, even the slightest bit of dehydration can negatively affect how our body functions. You can experience decreased energy, poor digestion, and even greater susceptibility to infections and illness. Drinking enough water supports optimal digestive function, which can help you stay regular and absorb nutrients from food more effectively.
Unfortunately, most adults do not drink enough water, nor do they consume enough electrolyte minerals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that on average, adults in the United States drank about 44 ounces (oz) per day between 2015 and 2018, which is less than half of what we all should be drinking.
How Much Should I Drink?
The ideal amount of water intake for healthy adults varies based on factors such as birth sex, weight, and activity level. Typically, women should aim for about 91 ounces and men should aim for around 125 ounces of hydrating liquids per day, per the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, some of this can come from water-rich foods and other beverages.
One way to calculate how much water you need is to divide your weight in pounds by two. The result is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. For example, if you're an adult woman who weighs 130 pounds, your target amount of water should be 65 oz per day.
Remember, while it's essential to drink enough water, it's also possible to drink too much. Drinking excessive amounts of water can deplete sodium levels in the body, which is the most abundant electrolyte and critical for heart and muscle function.
So, how can you drink more water and make it tasty at the same time?
Here are our SIX TOP TIPS for staying hydrated:
- Start your Morning and your Meals with Hydration: Have a glass of Electrolyte Recovery Plus first thing in the morning, even before your coffee. You can have a glass of plain water instead in a pinch. Have an additional glass of water or electrolytes about 30 minutes before meals and snacks. Not only does this help to keep you hydrated, but it also dampens the hunger signal so you aren’t tempted to overeat.
- Hydrate in the Evenings: Drinking water before bedtime can help prevent dehydration overnight and is an excellent way to hit your hydration goals.
- Use a Water Bottle you Love: A water bottle with time markers or one that tracks your water intake can help you stay on top of your hydration goals. More importantly, choosing a water bottle you like carrying around with you will encourage you to sip water more frequently throughout the day. Whether you like wide mouth bottles or the kind with a built-in straw, make sure you have it with you at all times.
- Experiment With Infused Water: Infuse your water with fresh fruits, herbs, or veggies for a more enjoyable and flavorful experience. Adding lemon and cucumber makes for a refreshing summer drink, or sip a warm herbal infusion.
- Make Time for Tea: Tea can be a hydrating alternative to water and can offer additional health benefits. Green tea is often noted for having beneficial health effects, for example. You can sweeten your tea with stevia or other non-caloric sweeteners to add flavor to your drinks without adding sugar.
- Eat Water-Rich Foods: Foods like watermelon, cucumber, and celery have high water content and can contribute to your daily water intake. These fruits and vegetables contain minerals and vitamins that can support your health in a variety of ways as well.
Challenge yourself to keep track of your water intake for a few days to get an idea of what your normal intake is like. Use an app or a water bottle that paces your water intake by the time of day, like the Hydromate water bottle, to help you calculate the amount of water you need to add to your routine.
What’s Your Excuse?
Drinking enough water is important for maintaining overall health and well-being, but many people fail to consume enoug hwater for their needs each day. There are a number of common excuses that people use to avoid drinking enough water, and understanding these excuses can help you overcome them and make hydration a priority.
- One common excuse for not drinking enough water is that you simply forget. With busy schedules and constant distractions, it can be easy to forget to drink water throughout the day. To combat forgetfulness, it can be helpful to set reminders or use apps that track water intake. Additionally, carrying a water bottle with you can be a constant reminder to take more sips through the day.
- Another excuse for not drinking enough water is that you don’t like the taste of water. Some people find plain water boring or unappetizing, and may prefer sugary drinks or beverages with added flavors. To make water more appealing, you can try adding natural flavorings such as slices of fruit or herbs to their water, or opt for flavored seltzers or sparkling waters. Better yet, replace at least one glass of plain water per day with Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus. This way, you’re getting a delicious beverage that replenishes your electrolyte stores so you can feel your best.
- Many people also avoid drinking enough water because they believe that they are not thirsty. However, thirst is not always a reliable indicator of hydration levels, especially in older adults. It can be helpful to drink water regularly throughout the day, even when you do not feel thirsty.
- Others avoid drinking enough water because they believe that it will make them need to use the bathroom more frequently. While it is true that drinking more water can lead to more frequent bathroom breaks, staying hydrated is important for maintaining good kidney health and preventing urinary tract infections. It may take some time for the body to adjust to increased water intake, but don’t let concerns about needing to use the bathroom deter you from staying hydrated.
- Many people also avoid drinking enough water because they are concerned about the quality of their tap water. While mst places in the United States have access to clean tap water, you may be concerned about contaminants or chemicals that can affect the taste or safety of your water. Invest in a water filtration system or purchase bottled water to overcome this obstacle, but be mindful of plastic waste and choose a reputable brand.
- You might avoid drinking enough water because you believe that you get enough fluids from other sources, such as coffee, tea, or soda. However, these beverages can be dehydrating and do not provide the same health benefits as water. It is important to prioritize water consumption over other beverages to maintain optimal hydration levels.
There are lots of reasons you might not be drinking enough water, and there are even more ways to incorporate better hydration in to your day. Use these tips as a starting place to make sure you’re getting enough fluids, and adapt them to your lifestyle to build your smart hydration habits.