Water is essential for health
But, how much water? You’ve probably heard, or read, that we should drink half our body weight in ounces daily. Water helps to maintain proper bodily functions, such as digestion, circulation, and other processes that help us remain healthy.
This can seem like a daunting task for some, but there are ways to make water more enjoyable while still meeting water intake requirements…
Our body is made up of 60% water and we are constantly expending water through sweat, urine, and breathing.
Drinking enough water is important for our health because water helps to flush out toxins from our bodies, replacing them with nutrients that are necessary for our well-being.
Water helps to keep all of our systems running smoothly and efficiently.
It also helps you have more energy, think better, and can even help digestion.
In addition, water has no calories, making it the ideal beverage for hydration and health maintenance.
How much water? Not all experts agree
Keep in mind, experts disagree on the exact water intake requirements for an individual person.
Some experts recommend drinking half of one’s body weight in ounces of water each day to ensure proper hydration and maintain overall health, while other experts suggest that this amount may not be necessary depending on the specific situation.
Water needs vary based on more factors than weight. The exact water needs of an individual person can vary greatly depending on several factors including…
- calorie intake
- level of activity
- health requirements
Ultimately, it is important to listen to your body and adjust your water intake based on your individual needs.
H2O and watery fruits and vegetables
While all experts agree that drinking water is an essential part of staying healthy, there are those who say we don’t have to stick to water alone to stay hydrated.
Adding juicy fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, cucumbers, oranges, pears, and grapefruits to our diets can be an easy way to get our water intake up without feeling like we’re chugging down glasses of water all day. (Try blending them into a smoothie for a tasty and healthy drinkable snack that will give you a water boost throughout the day!)
BUT… getting enough water is essential to staying healthy, and while eating juicy fruits and veggies can help towards our water intake goals, it’s still important to enough drink plain, clean water.
We cannot rely solely on these hydrating foods to keep us hydrated! It is true that some fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fluid, but drinkable water is the most effective way for our bodies to rehydrate. So even if you’re eating your fruits and vegetables, don’t forget about plain old-fashioned H20!
How to know if you are not drinking enough water
Urine color and smell can be an indicator of water consumption levels. When you are properly hydrated, your urine should typically be a light yellow color with no strong smell. If your urine is dark yellow in color and has a strong smell, this could indicate that you are not drinking enough water.
Other than discoloration, water intake can also be monitored through water intake tracking apps or water bottles that have a built in water tracker. It is important to stay hydrated and the advice to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day is one way to ensure that you are doing so.
Other common side effects from not drinking enough water include:
How much water? That seems like a lot!
A lot of people find it difficult to drink so much water and many of those give up. Do the best you can! Supplement your water intake with those juicy vegetables and fruits we talked about. What matters is you stay hydrated. And sodas are not hydrating, so they do not count. Keep that in mind! Iced tea can count, juices, fruit smoothies hydrating, too.
Okay, there’s a couple more things to cover. Let’s start with the question…
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Yes. Drinking excessive amounts of water can lead to water intoxication, which is a condition that occurs when the body consumes water faster than it can excrete water. This results in an imbalance of electrolytes and minerals in the blood, primarily sodium.
Symptoms of water intoxication typically include
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to water intake levels and consume water in appropriate amounts.
If you have any concerns about your water consumption, it is best to consult a doctor or qualified healthcare provider for advice.
Is Alkaline Water Better?
A popular trend among water drinkers is to switch to alkaline water, which has a higher pH level than regular water. While alkaline water is said to have a variety of health benefits, such as helping to reduce acidity in the body, boosting energy levels, and flushing out toxins, BUT…
Our body regulates pH levels naturally. Consuming water with a higher pH level than regular water is claimed to help support these natural processes and promote better overall health. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular water, usually somewhere between 8-9 on the pH scale. This is because it contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium that help to alkalize the water.
The exact health benefits of drinking alkaline water are still being studied, however, some people believe it can help reduce acidity in the body, boost energy levels, and flush out toxins.
It is important to note that there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims for alkaline water. (For more information about alkaline water, here’s a trusted resource.)
Don’t be discouraged!
There are ways to meet your water requirements while still enjoying other drinks. For example, you can substitute water for a morning cup of coffee or tea and alternate water throughout the day. You can also add small amounts of flavor, such as a lemon or lime squeeze, slice, or zest, to make it more interesting.
These are just some ideas on how you can make water more enjoyable while still meeting your daily water requirements.
The bottom line is that drinking water is important for your health and well-being. Not only does water help to flush out toxins, but it also helps to maintain proper bodily functions, improve energy levels, and increase mental clarity.
So don’t forget to drink up! Your body will thank you for it.