Water is as important as you hear it is. But most people don’t drink enough; It’s the most common nutritional deficiency in this country.
Proper hydration is integral to our health and vitality (especially our skin & digestion! I swear my skin has never looked better than when I drink tons of water per day) and our bodies are like 80% water sooooo yeah, we need it.
Here are the specifics of why it’s important:
We do get a lot of water from food, but we need to keep our intake UP. If I don’t monitor my water and make it deliberate, I won’t drink it.
So how much do we actually need?
The technical rule of thumb is: your bodyweight in pounds/2 = how many ounces of water you should be drink per DAY.
So, a 140 pound person would need to drink at LEAST 70 ounces of water per day, which is about 10 cups.
1 cup of water = 8 ounces.
For every 8 ounces of diuretic beverage that you drink (coffee, soda, diet soda, tea, alcohol) you must drink an additional 12 ounces (1½ cups) of water to rehydrate, because diuretics dehydrate you. During my drinking days, I’d drink tons of water beforehand and say “hydrate before I dehydrate.” It’s true!
If you exercise & sweat a lot, then you might need more water, too. I know after a really sweaty yoga class I feel as if I’ve been living in the Sahara desert all day.
It seems like a lot of water, and I don’t want you to get crazy about it either. An easy way to judge if you’re drinking enough water is to take a look at your urine. It should be a very pale yellow. It it’s cloudy or dark yellow….then you need to drink more water.
Some people might say that thirst works for hydration the way that hunger works for food. Butttt if we actually feel thirsty, then we needed water like two hours ago. We should try to always be ahead of our thirst.
Don’t take this as saying that you should be chugging water like a lunatic all day because that isn’t true either. TOO much water consumption can be detrimental as well. We need to keep it balanced.
How can you actually implement this?
A good way to stay consistent is by having a bottle or cup that you can fill throughout the day and have a goal to drink X amount of them. I use a 4-cup mason jar while I’m at home, and try to fill it up four times throughout the day. Do what works for you.
This is the water bottle I use for when I’m out and about, and I hear that hydroflask is awesome, too.
Some say drinking during meals messes with your stomach acid, but if you’re not drinking much water right now, I’d consider that minutiae. Drink during your meals if it gets your water intake up.
I also feel compelled to mention that I’m a sparkling water addict – specifically Syfo (all), Topo Chico, La Croix (passionfruit, coconut, & orange), and Zephyrhills (strawberry & watermelon) – and I absolutely do count that towards my water allotment for the day. Many would argue that it doesn’t count, that it’s bad for me, that the bubbles make me bloated and mess up my digestion, but those facts aren’t true for me. The enjoyment I receive from my bubbles is extraordinary, and if you find yourself in the same boat, I wouldn’t stress. I consider this minutiae, and I’d rather you find a way of drinking water that works for you as opposed to succumbing to perfection.
We cannot make sustainable change with food, our bodies, or our surrounding habits until we honestly explore and get curious about our relationship with each of them. Mindset change is not easy, but so, so worth it.
Being healthy starts with learning to cook simple foods in easy, delicious ways with approachable and practical recipes and techniques.
Our health begins with properly nourishing our bodies with nutrient-dense foods. I believe in bio-individuality: each person requires different types and amounts of food to feel their best. Learn how to eat intuitively for the rest of your life!