How Much Water Should I Drink?
I know we’ve all heard how important it is to drink ‘plenty’ of water, but what do ‘they’ mean by plenty and why is it so important? I don’t know about you, but these were some questions that I had when I first heard: “you need to drink plenty of water.” So, let’s explore what ‘they’ (the experts) say about how much water should I drink and what are some of the benefits.
How much water should I drink each day?
There are so many varying opinions out there from ten 8 oz. glasses per day, men should drink a gallon and women around 85-90 oz. per day, to half your body weight in ounces of water per day. What is the correct answer? We are all different, our diet, pregnancy and breastfeeding, our genetic makeup, medications you are taking, exercise program, and environmental stresses will cause this number to be different for each person. Okay, then how do I know how much water should I drink, Ally?
For me, and this is just for me personally, I find that if I fall below drinking 100 oz. of water per day my body really notices a difference. I feel more sluggish, achy, and it affects my mental performance or acuity. I find that I work best if my water intake for the day is around a gallon. WHAT??!! Are you crazy? Perhaps, but that’s not the point here, lol. As I said, that’s what I’ve found works for me and I would say that you will have to get to know your body well enough to know what works best for you. Also, please keep in mind that varying factors will change the amount you may need to drink.
For instance, I’m not much of a coffee or caffeine drinker, I’ve been blessed to have a body that gets out of bed and hits the floor running and can run until my head it’s the pillow at night without the need for caffeine. But, this is all dependent on how well I’m taking care of my body, like eating healthy, exercising, drinking my water, getting plenty of rest and for me, getting my time with God. If I’m doing well in these areas, no need for caffeine, but I’m human so, I have my days when I need the occasional cup of coffee, which can turn into two days and three…if I’m not careful to get back on track. It’s commonly known that caffeine is a diuretic (especially if you are drinking 5-7 cups per day), meaning it will cause your body to give out more fluids than what you’re taking in.
What are some of the benefits?
As I mentioned, it will help you think more clearly, feel less achy, battle sinus drainage, help your organs, including your kidneys and digestive tract to function better. You will also experience less aches and pains because water will help your body to flush out toxins, one being lactic acid which can cause muscle soreness and achiness. It will allow your ear, nose and throat to remain moist and as well as all water-based membranes of your body. You’re spinal disc are made up of mostly water and to maintain a healthy back, one component is to not let your disc become dry, dehydrated and shriveled overtime. It will also help keep your blood pressure lower. What?
Some complications from dehydration
Imagine if your body is made up of mostly water, which it is, and you run it dry, what will happen? Well, what happens when you allow your car to run low or out of oil? It gets thick and damages your engine, right? Well, imagine your blood, which is made up of mostly water flowing through your veins and there is a shortage of water. Your blood will naturally become thicker, forcing your heart to work hard to push the same amount of blood throughout your body. Solution. Drink more water. I’m not here to say that this is the one and only problem or solution to your blood pressure issues, but before you end up on blood pressure meds that will require you to take diuretics and not allow you to drink a lot of water, please, drink more water and allow your heart to work easier.
What other things can impact?
As I mentioned, if you exercise, you can sweat a lot and that can cause you to quickly become dehydrated. If you work outside, either in vocation or in pleasure, it can have a negative impact on your water level. For instance, I LOVE to mow. No joke, it’s one of the things I look forward to doing each week. Well, it’s not uncommon for me to be outside for 3-4 hrs. with a few short breaks for water and some food. If I’m not careful to stay hydrated throughout the day, I can easily become seriously dehydrated, especially if I didn’t drink a lot in the days leading up to being outside for so long. So, if you’re outside, in the heat, or working out, DRINK UP!!
Certain medications will also leave you dehydrated, best to ask your doctor or pharmacist about this possible side effect and just make the necessary adjustments to your water intake to compensate for it. But, you know it’s my goal to take you off all your meds in the long run. Just thought I’d clear the air there.
So, how much water should I drink?
This is such a short post for all the benefits of water and the pitfalls from the lack of it. So, let me end by saying that I’d start out drinking at least 50% of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Need to start slower? That’s okay, just start. Don’t like the taste? That will change, I promise, just give it some time and for now, you can do things to make minor adjustments to help out. Perhaps I’ll do another post on some tips in that area. It won’t hurt to start with 5-6 8 oz. glasses a day and each day add another glass until you reach a point that you feel good and over time, you will find that when you drop below a certain level, you just don’t feel like yourself. Getting to know your body has its rewards and it allows you to know how to take good care of it in the days to come. It’s the only body you’ve got, take the time to get to know it and treat it right and we’re here to help you in anyway we can.
Well, let me end with saying that this is a slightly controversial topic with many varying opinions and mine is just one of them. The bottom line is water is really good for you, you are probably taking in far less than you need and it’s never too late to start reversing the negative effects of dehydration…well, there is a point you can reach for that, but if you’re reading this post, I trust you’re not among those people. I hope this has helped to clear up some questions on how much water I should drink and get you on the road to better health.
Yours in health and hydration,