We’re slowly leaving summer behind and with the cooler months we start to think less about the importance of staying hydrated. It’s just as important now as it was in July to drink water, and what it does for your body and mind is pretty amazing.
Did you know that drinking water can actually improve your mood, memory, attention, and learning? The human brain is made primarily of water: over 75%! It makes sense that, when the body becomes dehydrated, the brain has a more difficult time doing what it needs to.
It’s easy to lose water if you’re not consuming enough throughout your normal day. If you’re losing more water than usual because of hot weather or exercise, you’ll need to take-in even more.
How to Stay Hydrated
According to the Mayo Clinic, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that on average, men should consume approximately 15.5 cups, or 3.7 liters, of fluid every day. For women, the recommended amount is 11.5 cups, or 2.7 liters.
Yes, that sounds like a lot!! We’re also used to hearing that we should drink (a much more reasonable) 8 cups of water a day. However, you should take another look at that information.
The word “consume” means you don’t necessarily need to drink the water you need. You can eat foods that contain water and still meet the recommendations. It also says “fluids,” which means you can drink a water-containing beverage like milk or juice and still get the needed H2O.
Here are some ways to get the water you need, to keep track of your intake, and to remind you of your next water break.
Drink from a Marked Container
A container that’s marked according to how much fluid it can hold is going to be your best friend. It’ll be easy to keep track of how much you’ve had to drink. For example, if you drink from a 32-ounce bottle, you can make it your goal to drink 2 or 3 of those bottles every day. This will put you at approximately 1.9- or 2.8-liters respectively. You should be able to get the rest of your water needs by eating.
Eat Foods with High Water Content
Healthline published a list of water-rich foods that can help you determine which foods to add to your day. Some great foods from this list include:
- Skim Milk
- Plain Yogurt
As you can see, there’s a solid mix of sweet/salty flavors and crunchy/creamy textures. There are enough options to find at least one thing you enjoy!
Use an App to Track Your Intake
Some fitness apps have a section where you can log your water intake. Other apps exist solely for the purpose of reminding you to drink and to help you track your intake. You can simply go to your App Store from your smartphone and do a search for water tracking apps. If you just want some of our random finds, take a look at these free-to-download apps:
Waterlogged – iOS
Daily Water – iOS
Water Time Pro – Android
Drink Water – Android
Test Your Hydration
An easy way to tell if you’re hydrated enough is if the color of your urine is pale yellow to clear. Darker urine colors may indicate that you’re not getting enough water. There are other reasons why urine color may change so never take it strictly as a sign of dehydration!
Another quick test is the skin elasticity test. If you pinch the skin on the top of your hand, it should quickly drop back to its original position. If it holds the pinched shape and slowly comes back down, you might be dehydrated.
Remember that every body is different
Keep in mind that the amount of water your body requires to function healthily is going to be different from what someone else’s body requires. Even if you’re generally the same in terms of age, health, and fitness level, your body may simply need more or less. Listen to your body and focus on you!
To read what our Registered Dietician, Debbie James, had to say about Drinking Too Much Water, read her response to our guest’s question. Or, to learn more about different types of water, read her response to this question on Distilled Water. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today!