“But I don’t like to drink water!” Does this sound like you? Or do you like water but feel you aren’t drinking enough? No matter your relationship with water, there’s no denying the fact that it’s essential for life and that staying hydrated has a myriad of health benefits. In our latest free webinar, Nurse Practitioner Becky Barkey explains the importance of staying hydrated, how much water you need daily, how dehydration can negatively affect your health and how to get into the habit of drinking more water — even if you don’t like it!
People keep telling me that I need to drink more water. Is this really true?
Yes! We can’t stress enough how important water is for every aspect of your health. You may be surprised to learn that 75% of Americans don’t drink enough water. One of the main problems with this lack of hydration is that most people are used to feeling badly, whether it be due to fatigue or brain fog, that they don’t know what it’s like to feel hydrated. In an attempt to clear up these issues, people tend to reach for caffeine and sugar instead of water. See the problem? Habits like these are further dehydrating us, leading to potential health problems down the road.
How much water do I need daily?
The number of 8-ounce glasses of water you need to stay fully hydrated depends on many factors, including age, sex, body weight, caffeine intake, diet, medications, physical activity, outdoor/indoor temperature, humidity and metabolic rate. Generally speaking, the average adult needs to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. To tailor this recommendation to you as an individual, try to drink half of your body weight in water. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you’ll need to drink 75 oz of water each day (that’s about nine glasses).
When’s the best time to drink water?
Waking up and drinking a lot of water first thing in the morning is key. This balances the lymphatic system, helps your body perform daily functions, fights infection and even helps with weight loss. Just drinking 16 oz of water in the morning can boost your metabolism by 24%. Morning-time hydration can also help promote glowing skin, purge toxins from the blood, purify the colon and increase new muscle cell production.
What are the consequences of dehydration?
If you’re dehydrated, the most likely cause is that you’re not drinking enough water. Your body needs water to function optimally. Without it, you may suffer from one or more of these consequences of dehydration:
- Brain fog and headaches
- Mood and energy levels decrease
- Joint pain and arthritis
- Kidney dysfunction
- Dry skin and wrinkles
- Urinary tract infection
- Decreased metabolism
- Nausea, dizziness, blurred vision
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Allergies and asthma
How can I stay hydrated if I don’t like the taste of water?
It’s okay if you don’t like the taste of water right now, there are ways to train your body to like it. Start out by gradually drinking more water each day. The more water you drink, the more your body will crave it, and it’ll end up tasting better. You can also create hydration habits to keep your body optimally hydrated, such as:
- Waking up and drinking water
- Paying attention to and honoring thirst cues
- Setting hydration reminders
- Building and maintaining lean muscle mass
- Replenishing what you lose
Once you get in the habit, water will become easier to drink, especially when it’s plain, clean water from a non-toxic container. Drinking from a stainless-steel water bottle is a safer, better way to consume water as opposed to drinking out of plastic, which you should try to avoid as much as possible. Now, if you still can’t get on the water train, there are plenty of no-calorie, no-sugar alternatives to try, including herbal tea, kombucha, seltzer water, fruit-infused water, coconut water and (if you’re feeling up to it) celery juice. Remember that liquids like coffee, soda, milk and alcohol are NOT optimal water alternatives.
You’ve heard it all your life: Drink more water! And hopefully now, you’ve learned just how important that exclamation is for your overall health and wellbeing. Once you know how amazing it feels to be hydrated, you’ll never go back!
It’s never too early, or too late, to work toward being the healthiest you, and the team at BESANA Health & Wellness wants to help you get there! Watch the full webinar today and reach out to our team at 303.327.7300 or request a consultation online.