I know summer seems to be winding down, but temperatures are still at their peak. Even going for a short walk outside leaves me dripping in sweat and reaching for my water bottle! Whether you are sweating on a hot day or watching Netflix on the couch to stay out of the heat, our bodies still depend on a certain amount of water each day to function optimally.
Water makes up 55-60% of our total body mass and works on a cellular level in the body. Cells make up your tissues, which make up your organs, which make up your organ systems, which then make up you. Therefore, when you are dehydrated, it can affect every part of you. I would even say that water is the most important nutrient in the body-you can go eight weeks without food but only a few days without water!
Roles of water in the body:
- Improves oxygen delivery to cells
- Transports nutrients
- Cushions bones and joints
- Absorbs shocks to organs
- Regulates body temperature
- Removes waste and toxins
- Empowers the body’s natural healing process
So how much water does our body actually need? We all have probably heard that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but I don’t think we can set that standard for everyone. There is no way one statement can apply to all 7.5 billion people in this world. However, I do I believe there is an easy way to find a good estimate for your body.
Daily Water Consumption Formula
Minimum number of ounces per day= Body Weight (lbs) / 2
Ex. A person weighing 150 pounds should drink at least 75 ounces of water each day.
There is a small caveat to this though. If you drink any kind of diuretic beverage, like coffee, alcohol, teas, soda, etc., then your body will need more water each day. This is because diuretics promote urination, meaning your body is eliminating water AND electrolytes needed to keep your body hydrated.
This water consumption calculation still may seem high to you, but I think many of us are not drinking nearly enough water during the day. Headaches, fatigue, cravings, cramps, irritability, anxiety and depression can all be early signs of dehydration. More mature signs of dehydration include heartburn, joint pain, migraines, constipation, back pain and even colitis. It’s interesting to think that increasing your water intake can improve your headache or even lesson your cravings!
This week, I encourage you to notice how much water you are drinking and how you feel. Find ways to increase your water intake, even if it’s just an extra glass of water a day. Set a glass of water by your bed at night for you to drink first thing when you wake up in the morning. Buy a larger water bottle (this one is my favorite!!!) to have at your desk at work. Keep a glass of water near you when you are cooking dinner or relaxing on the couch. Even consider replacing one of your morning cups of coffee with water!
If you don’t like drinking plain water, consider adding lemon or fruit to your water using a water bottle like this or a pitcher. My current favorite is strawberries and fresh mint and letting it sit overnight. Yum!
Water is vital to the proper functioning of our bodies, but we must drink it in order to reap the benefits!
Anyone else thirsty after reading this?!?