With diets full of venti lattes, Big Gulp sodas, and energy drinks, water is often left behind as a boring beverage. But since water makes up 60% of our bodies and is lost continually throughout the day, it should be our go-to drink. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough water and are chronically dehydrated.
How Much Is Enough?
The advice to drink eight glasses of water a day has been around for years. The good news is, it’s easy to remember. But according to the Mayo Clinic , that number may not hold true for everyone. The specific amount needed varies because more more fluids are required in warm temperatures, when exercising, and to overcome illness. In general, men are likely to need close to 13 cups of water each day, while women typically need about nine cups.
Why So Much Water?
Water plays a critical role in each of the body’s systems . In addition to aiding in digestion, water keeps the kidneys functioning well and helps to remove waste from the body. It also keeps joints lubricated while aiding in building muscles. Staying well hydrated is the key to keeping skin moisturized and youthful looking. In addition, water plays a large role in cognitive function and memory.
Tips & Tricks
Unfortunately, knowing you need to and deciding to drink more water isn’t always enough to make it happen. You’ll need to develop a few tricks for fitting enough water into your day. Start first thing in the morning by drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon while you wait for your coffee to brew or while you get dressed. As Livestrong explains , drinking warm lemon water jump starts the digestive system and prepares it to absorb nutrients.
Throughout the day, drink a large glass of water at each transition point in your schedule. Drinking a glass when you arrive to work, upon returning from a meeting, when you come back from a lunch break, and as soon as you get home helps to space out water consumption to keep you constantly hydrated. This technique will also help the habits become second nature. Drinking a large glass shortly before each meal will also help you feel full and prevent overeating.
For some people, sipping frequently all day long works better than drinking a few large glasses. Find a reusable water bottle that works well for you and keep it with you full time, refilling it each time you walk past a water fountain.
Getting bored with water can tempt you to turn to sodas or other sugary drinks. Stay away from flavored bottles of water, which can often contain artificial sweeteners and additives. Instead, jazz up water by putting in cut up or crushed fruit such as oranges, pineapples, strawberries, or one of the 50 suggestions from Kitchen Adventures . Herbs such as mint or rosemary also add unique flavors to keep you quenching your thirst all day. For even more interesting combinations, Prevention offers 26 recipes and combinations , including ginger and pear.
As you develop your own t ips and drinks for getting enough water into your day, what seemed challenging will turn into habit.
Track Your Progress
To help yourself stay motivated, it’s useful to track your progress each day. Using an app such as Waterlogged allows you to quickly set a goal and see how much water you have had. It will even send you reminders so you don’t forget and fall behind. Plus, you’ll be able to see your history so that you can figure out what throws you off course. Even after you develop excellent habits, it’s a good idea to continue tracking. Without noticing, it’s possible to revert to drinking less and less.
Are you thirsty?
Do you get enough water, or are you chronically dehydrated? Do you sip all day long, or do you gulp down big glasses? In the comment box below, inspire us with your success, or ask for help. We want to hear it all. In fact, we respond to each and every comment, so you are guaranteed an answer to your question or an encouragement to stay the course.