By: Annemarie Morrell, Winthrop University Nutrition Student
Do you think you get enough water on a daily basis? I'm sure people get tired of hearing that they need to drink more water but it's good to know why you need water and the health benefits that can come from it. You'd be surprised to know the amount of water you should be drinking and how many people are not drinking that amount. A lot of the time people forget that our body is made up of 60% of water. It's easy to get caught up in your day and forget to drink water or go for a soft drink or a beverage besides water. In this post, I want to go over why water is so important for your health and why you need to be getting enough in your day. Also some tips on how to increase your water intake throughout the day, and eventually make it a daily habit.
How Water Supports the Body
Water is very important and needed for your body to function properly, your cells need water. Water promotes good kidney function, keeps your joints and muscles lubricated, supports healthier skin, and regulates your body temperature. Drinking water can also help with dehydration which can lead to mood changes, overheating of the body, and it can also lead to constipation and kidney stones. Another benefit of water is that it contains no calories and most of the time is free. This can help if you're trying to manage your body weight by not getting calories from sugar-sweetened beverages. Mayo Clinic recommends a minimum daily intake of 11.5 cups or 92 oz for women and 15.5 cups or 124 oz for men. Some fluids that you're getting on a daily basis come from other food and beverages beyond just water. Unfortunately, it's basically impossible to stay hydrated if you're just getting your water from solid foods, water that you get from food is not enough to keep you hydrated. There are certain people who are at greater risk for dehydration including infants, young children, older adults, or individuals who work or exercise outdoors. The amount of water you need daily depends on some factors; if you're living in a hot or humid region
you might sweat more so you'll need more fluids, if you're a very active individual you'll sweat more and you need extra fluid for the loss of water and to replace electrolytes, if you're ill from a dehydrating fever or infection, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tips for increasing water intake:
Carry a water bottle with you and try to refill it throughout the day.
If you like your water very cold you could freeze a water-safe water bottle and then take it with you in the morning so that you can have ice-cold water all day.
Try to order water when you're eating out.
Flavor your water by adding fruits such as lemon, lime, oranges, strawberries, etc.
Set a reminder on your phone (there are some apps that can do this as well).
Try to have your water bottle or water in general next to you while you're working or when you're sitting for a long period of time.
Try to track your water intake throughout the day.
Hopefully, with a better understanding of why water is so important and some tips on how to increase your water intake, you can see how necessary getting enough water on a daily basis truly is. With the goal of eventually making drinking more water a part of your daily routine. You can try to make it a routine by drinking water the first thing you do when you wake up, putting a water bottle beside your bed to remind you, or having an app on your phone that reminds you when to drink your water. In conclusion, drinking water is necessary and is only going to benefit you and your body. Most people know that they need to drink more water but instead of knowing this information try and act on it by following the tips and starting your healthy habit today. You can still have the beverages that you enjoy in moderation or you can swap for low or no-calorie beverages, but it's just a good reminder to make sure you still are drinking enough water in your day along with these other beverages that you enjoy.
Liana Reiland DNP. Tips for drinking more water. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/tips-for-drinking-more-water. Published July 12, 2021. Accessed October 24, 2022.
Water and healthier drinks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/water-and-healthier-drinks.html. Published June 6, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022.