We’ve all heard that we should be drinking more water for our long term health, but how much more do we need? And more importantly: why??
What does a healthy amount of water look like?
There are a wide variety of factors that go into determining how much water you should drink. The average person should be drinking at least 8-10 cups of water per day. When our fluid intake doesn’t equal or pass our fluid output, we run the risk of being dehydrated. If you’re in a drier or hotter climate, or are performing strenuous exercise you will likely need to drink significantly more water.
The most important consideration is: are you thirsty? If you’re feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated, your body is sending you it’s strongest signal to tell you to drink more water.
#1: Your body runs the way it's designed to.
Your body is made up of mostly water for a reason, it’s used for many functions of the body including digestion, nutrient absorption, body temperature regulation, and blood circulation.
When you are dehydrated your body will hold onto every drop of water it can, reducing the body’s overall ability to function. As soon as you start boosting your water intake you can notice digestive, circulatory, and body temperature changes.
# 2: Water helps improve physical performance.
A loss of as little as 2% of your body’s water content can have a significant impact on your physical performance. When you are optimally hydrated during exercise it can even reduce the oxidative stress that intense exercise places on your body.
If you sweat during exercise, it’s likely you’re losing up to 10% of your body’s water reserves. If only a 2% loss can lead to fatigue and decreased motivation, imagine the impacts of losing 5 times that!
#3: Water is the healthy brain boost you've been wanting!
A loss of even less than 2% of your body’s water weight can lead to impaired mood, concentration, decreased working memory, and increased anxiety!
Regardless of what your occupation, all of us could use a brain boost. By increasing our water intake to optimal levels we can improve our mood, memory, and overall brain performance.
#4: Trying to lose weight in a healthy way??? Try H2O!
Across all of the fad diets out there one thing is consistent: drink more water. For good reason, too!
There’s evidence to suggest that increased water intake boosts your metabolism, directly increasing the number of calories you burn daily. In fact, when you drink 2 glasses of water 30 minutes before meals you are significantly less likely to consume as many calories allowing you to more effectively decrease body weight and body fat percentage.
Also, water-dense foods are often larger, require more chewing, and are absorbed more slowly by the body helping to keep you feeling full for longer.
#5: Flush the garbage out of your body
Water helps keep your kidneys and bowels, aka your garbage processing facilities, functioning at peak performance.
When you’re getting enough water your urine flows freely with little to no color or odor. When you’re dehydrated your body stores more of those nutrients that need to be flushed out and can lead to problems like kidney stones. Additionally, when you’re dehydrated your body needs to pull fluid from the colon and from your stool to keep it functioning as well as possible. This will commonly lead to constipation.
When you increase fiber and water together you allow your body to get rid of it’s garbage quickly and efficiently.