How good are you at reaching the recommended amount of water intake each day?
Men should aim to drink 3 liters per day. Women should strive for about 2.2 liters per day. Guidelines vary for athletes and other specific populations. Adequate daily water intake is necessary to replenish the fluids lost through activities such as respiration, perspiration, and urination. The body also loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, so it’s vital to hydrate constantly throughout the day. Water provides fluid balance by helping transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and much more. Water also plays a role maintaining moisturization of tissues in the body, such as the skin, and acts as a lubricant for movement of the joints.
Thirst is often a poor indicator of hydration status; if you find yourself thirsty, it’s likely an indicator that you aren’t drinking enough water! There are several hacks to increase daily water intake, and we’ll list a few easy-to-follow ones here!
Common signs of dehydration:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urine output or dark urine
- Dry skin
3 hacks for increasing water intake:
1. Drinking Fruit, Herb, or Oil Infused Water:
Choosing water over more flavorful beverages, which often contain large amounts of added sugars, can be difficult. However, there are several natural ways to infuse water with delicious refreshing flavors. Fruits such as strawberries, lemons, and oranges can be added to a cool glass of water for a fresh citrusy taste. Some essential oils that are safe to be ingested are also an easy way to enhance your water. Peppermint adds a nice cooling taste, can freshen the breath and is also beneficial for digestion. You can learn more about the benefits of essential oils through CORE. Lastly, natural herbs such as mint or rosemary make great additions to water for a subtle but refreshing taste.
2. Drink Before Bed, Upon Waking, and Before or After Meals:
Drinking water is vital for proper digestive function. Digestion is initiated in the mouth via saliva, the basis of which is water. Furthermore, water acts as a transporter of nutrients and helps break down and transport food as it flows through the digestive tract. Water is additionally necessary to help you digest soluble fiber, which aids in the formation and passage of bowels.
Drinking water constantly throughout the day is the best way to meet water intake guidelines. This should start upon waking. Imagine how you would feel if you went 7 to 8 hours without drinking anything. That’s exactly what happens overnight! Drinking water first thing when you wake up helps rehydrate the body, promotes digestive and metabolic health, and even has benefits for skin health. Drinking water in between meals can help contribute to satiety, which can result in less snacking. Oftentimes, dehydration can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before a meal especially can influence food intake.
3. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle:
Lastly, carrying a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day serves as a great reminder to stay hydrated! Reusable water bottles are great for the environment as they cut down on plastic waste (available for purchase at CORE, learn more about how CORE is a green business). One strategy for ensuring that you meet the recommended guidelines for daily water intake is to determine how many times you need to refill your water bottle based on its capacity. For example, a water bottle that holds 40 oz of fluid (about 1.1 liters), will need to be refilled twice throughout the day in order to reach 2.2 liters of water for women or about three times to meet the guidelines for men.
Drinking water has endless benefits for overall health. These helpful hacks will encourage you to meet the guidelines for daily water intake and up your water game with tasty natural additions. However, remember that just as dehydration is risky, so is overhydration. Too much fluid can lead to hyponatremia, which is when sodium in the blood becomes too diluted. This can lead to an electrolyte imbalance which can interfere with basic homeostatic functioning.
You can learn more about nutrition and health through many of the services offered at CORE! We’ll soon offer the services of a Registered Dietitian, which will bring “Functional Integrative Nutrition” to CORE! If you are concerned about your daily water intake, or any other nutritional concern, we’re happy to provide you with answers! #getMOREwithCORE