There’s no doubt that water is essential to our health, but how much water should we be drinking, and what are the best ways to make sure we stay properly hydrated?
The average American is consuming only half the recommended daily amount of water–a disturbing statistic given the importance of water for healthy living.
Let’s look at some of the factors that influence our water intake, why staying hydrated is so important, and some tips to help us stay on top of our hydration levels.
Factors That Influence Water Intake
There are many factors that influence water intake, both in terms of how much water we drink and the type of water we consume. Our bodies need water to function properly, so it’s important to be aware of these influences and make sure we’re getting enough fluids.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at retaining water. Additionally, many medications that are commonly prescribed to seniors can cause dehydration. Therefore, it is important for older adults to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Level of Activity
One of the main factors that determines how much water we need to drink is our level of activity. If we’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, we obviously won’t need to drink as much as someone who’s regularly exercising or spending time outdoors in hot weather.
That said, it’s important to remember that even if we’re not sweating excessively, we’re still losing water through things like breathing and going to the bathroom. So, it’s important to drink even when we’re not feeling thirsty.
Another factor that can influence our hydration levels is the climate we live in. Obviously, if it’s hot outside we’ll need to drink more water than usual to stay properly hydrated. But did you know that cold weather can also dehydrate us?
When it’s cold, we tend to breathe more shallowly, which means we don’t take in as much moisture from the air. And since our bodies are made mostly of water, it stands to reason that we need to replenish that moisture by drinking more fluids.
Certain medical conditions can also impact fluid requirements. For example, those with diabetes may need to monitor their intake more closely to avoid dehydration. People who have had surgery may also need to take in more fluids.
How Much Water Should We Drink Every Day?
The general rule of thumb on water intake per day is eight glasses, but that can vary depending on our individual needs.
It’s worth noting that these recommendations are for total water intake, which includes water from all sources, not just from drinking glasses or bottles of water. In other words, you don’t need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to meet the recommended daily intake—eating foods with high water content (such as fruits and vegetables) can help you stay hydrated.
If you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking, a good way to gauge it is by checking the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow or straw-colored, that means you’re well-hydrated. If it’s dark yellow or orange, that’s a sign you need to drink more fluids.
Tips for Staying Hydrated All Day
It’s no secret that staying hydrated is important for your overall health. But did you know that it’s also crucial for maintaining your mental sharpness and productivity throughout the day?
Here are a few tips to help you stay hydrated all day long:
- Drink water first thing in the morning. Start your day by drinking a glass or two of water. This will help rehydrate your body and jumpstart your metabolism for the day.
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Make sure to always have a water bottle with you, especially when you’re out and about during the hotter months. This will help you stay hydrated while on the go.
- Eat foods that are high in water content. In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, make sure to eat foods that are high in water content such as fruits and vegetables. These will help keep you hydrated and feeling fuller longer.
- Drink water throughout the day. Sipping on water throughout the day is a great way to keep your body hydrated. Set reminders on your phone or computer to drink water every hour or so to help you stay on track.
- Avoid diuretics. Coffee, tea, and alcohol are all diuretics, which means they promote dehydration. So, be sure to limit your intake of these drinks if you want to stay hydrated all day long.
If you find yourself feeling thirsty or fatigued, don’t wait until you’re parched–have a drink of water right away.
What Are the Signs of Dehydration?
Dehydration can sneak up on us quickly, so it’s important to be aware of the signs. Some common symptoms of dehydration include feeling tired, having a headache, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, having dry mouth or chapped lips, and having dark-colored urine.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to drink more fluids right away. And if they persist or get worse, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
Get Quality Drinking Water
It’s important to drink clean, safe water. Contaminated water can make us sick, so it’s important to be aware of the quality of the water we’re consuming.
Filtered water from Kinetico Water Systems in Arizona removes impurities from tap water, ensuring your household’s water supply is free from dangerous contaminants. Plus, Kinetico water tastes great, which can help you and your family drink more.