We are constantly bombarded with messages reinforcing the importance of drinking enough water. But what is the right amount? Is it eight-8oz glasses of water? Is it half of your body weight in ounces? Or maybe it’s 13 cups for men and nine for women? Unless of course, you are pregnant, breastfeeding, exercising, enjoying a hot day outside, not feeling well, have a headache—the list is endless.
The real answer is, it depends. Each person is unique and has different variables that need to be considered and like so many things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to hydration.
Here are some tips to help you decide when to reach for your water bottle:
- When you are thirsty, your body’s telling you that you need more water. Unfortunately, when you feel thirsty chances are, you’re already slightly hydrated so try and avoid getting to that point.
- If your urine is light yellow, you are likely drinking enough water. If it is dark or smells strongly, you need more water!
- When you’re getting your sweat on, the temperature is registering hot or you are feeling under the weather—make a conscious effort to drink more water.
- If you are not regular in the bathroom, you need more water to help digest food and move waste along your digestive tract.
- If you are feeling sluggish and tired, your body is telling you to drink more water to increase your blood volume.
- When your concentration level and focus is low, grab some water to increase your brain function.
- When you are feeling irritable, anxious and/or tense, focus on healthy hydration to improve your mood.
The best way to gauge how much water to drink on a daily basis is by how your body feels and who doesn’t want to feel their absolute best? “Drinking water does more than just quench your thirst—it’s essential to keeping your body functioning properly and feeling healthy,” the Mayo Clinic advises. “Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.”
Drinking water is essential to keeping our body functioning properly. Fully hydrated bodies promote lubricated joints, elevated mood, more energy, higher productivity and can even promote weight loss by curbing cravings and mindless snacking. Proper hydration also keeps skin looking fresh and rejuvenated! So, how do we create this positive habit and find ways to incorporate this feeling into our daily lives by drinking more water?