These are crazy times, aren’t they? We’re all trying to do our best to care for our families, keep things clean and stocked up, and stay well! #thankscovid I know that just like me, you’re cleaning up a storm, staying home as much as possible, and washing your hands like crazy. (BTW, if your hands are super-dry from all that washing, consider using this oil-based soap I swear by. It’s saved my skin!)
One of the things I’m specifically working on while I’m at home is being more consistent! I’m working on being more faithful with everything from my skin products to my daily Bible study and prayer time. Are you doing that too? Another thing I’m working on is drinking more water! 🥤
Did you know our bodies are over 60% water? It’s the main ingredient in our blood! Today, I thought we’d tackle the age-old question: How much water do we really need to drink for proper hydration? How does exercise, age, gender, or (ahem!) caffeine intake affect this amount? And what’s the deal with the “water diet?” Does it actually help with weight loss? It’s just confusing, right? I’m going to help you make sense of it all – oh, and I’m linking some of the cutest reusable water bottles to get you inspired!
The Importance of Hydration
We know that sufficient water consumption helps you regulate the amount you eat; it helps with digestion, kidney function, and elimination. Water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. It allows your cells to take in nutrients, and it also allows them to expel waste products.
Proper hydration staves off headaches and helps your heart. Water increases the volume of blood in your arteries, so blood and oxygen are transported around your body more efficiently, with fewer heartbeats. 💗
You may also know that water helps moisturize your skin, increase its elasticity, and replenish skin cells and tissues. Proper hydration also helps lubricate your joints, preventing muscle cramping, and reducing joint pain. But, did you also know that drinking enough water helps stave off depression? That’s right! Without adequate water intake, your brain can’t produce enough serotonin. If you struggle with insomnia, you should know that your brain also needs water to produce melatonin.
It only makes sense that adequate hydration helps all of your body’s systems are functioning at optimum levels! Your immune system works best when your muscles and organs are functioning well, you’re getting adequate sleep, and your serotonin levels are where they need to be. 🙌🏻
Water for Weight Loss
A few years ago, the “Water Diet” made a big, er, splash 🤣, by suggesting that people could lose weight by drinking very cold water, thus forcing the body to burn more calories by bringing the water up to body temperature. While this sounds good (especially if you’re hot and flashy, like so many of us!), it was quickly debunked as just another fad diet.
So does water help with weight loss? Yes! Since water is involved in nearly every cellular process in your body (including metabolism), you need those processes to run at maximum efficiency for optimum health. According to Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, “Your metabolism is basically a series of chemical reactions that take place in your body. Staying hydrated keeps those chemical reactions moving smoothly.” Being even 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism.
Research has also shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you to feel fuller and eat less. In one study, researchers found that people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at each meal! That doesn’t sound like a lot — but multiply 75 calories at all three meals by 365 days a year. math(I promise you that my husband the CPA is literally doing the calculations as he is reading this! 😂)
How Much Do We Really Need?
So what’s the real truth about how much we should be drinking? According to everyone’s favorite physician, WebMD🥼🩺, it depends on variables like your size and weight. Health experts used to recommend the “8×8 Rule,” which instructed everyone to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day, but in a stellar move of logic 🤔😂, this amount was eventually adjusted for each unique individual. Daily recommendations now sit at half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. Click here for a personalized hydration calculator.
The esteemed Mayo Clinic physicians deferred to the Institute of Medicine experts, who determined that an adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day, while it’s about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day for men. Wait! Total beverages? Like coffee, iced tea, or diet soda? ☕
What about the diuretic effects of caffeine? While caffeine does increase your urine output, studies show that over time, our bodies can adjust to the long-term use of caffeine and might no longer lose significant amounts of fluid through urination. 🎉💃🏻🥳
Remember that water found in foods count toward the total too! Which ones have the highest water content?
- Lettuce (96%)
- Celery (95%)
- Cucumber (95%)
- Tomatoes (94%)
- Zucchini (94%)
- Bell Peppers (92%)
- Cauliflower (92%)
- Watermelon (92%)
- Strawberries (91%)
- Skim Milk (91%)
- Cantelope (90%)
- Peaches (89%)
- Grapefruit (88%)
- Oranges (88%)
The bottom line? Try to eat or drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty, and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
How to Get Your Water
Two things have helped me drink more water: a fruit infuser, and a cute water bottle. (I know! 🙄.)
About two years ago, I bought this fruit infuser pitcher, and it’s really helped me do a better job of hydrating! I love it because it not only comes with a fruit infuser, but also a tea brewer, and a freezable cooling insert as well. It’s acrylic, so it is shatterproof, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and sized to fit easily in the refrigerator door. It also came with recipes and ideas, which I found so helpful.
If you want to fruit infuse, but you’d like a water bottle instead of a big ole’ pitcher, you might try this one I just ordered. It’s highly-rated, and people loved the fact that the bottle has time-marked lines right on it to keep them on track with their intake. It holds 32 oz., is shatterproof, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and it’s sweatproof because it comes with a neoprene sleeve to keep your water cold for longer. It comes in 10 different colors!
Also, earlier this year, I splurged on the Larq water bottle for travel. It’s a genius self-cleaning water bottle! Little did I know that with the current state we’re in, I’d be even happier to have it than I originally was! Larq uses a UV-sanitizing light right in the cap to provide pure water in only 60 seconds! (Yep! Now you see why I bought it for travel!) It’s insulated, lightweight, and rechargeable. It purifies your water and cleans the inner surfaces of the bottle by eliminating up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. It comes in 6 color choices and holds a charge for about a month!
According to Forbes magazine, humans buy one million plastic bottles per minute. On top of that, 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled! Yikes! If you’re like me (er, shallow, but honest 🤣), a well-made, reusable water bottle can help you do your part! I’ve pulled together a little boutique of some of my favorites at the bottom of this post.
What are your tips for drinking more? I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment and let me know! Drink up, friends. (Especially right now!)
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