When summer arrives and it’s hot enough to fry an egg outside, it’s important to take special care of yourself and your body. Wear enough sunscreen on your face and body, buy that much-needed umbrella that you’ve been looking for, and most importantly – stay properly hydrated!
If you’re an avid reader of this blog, then you know that we always talk about how staying hydrated is key to reaching your fitness goals and being healthy in general. But even if you’re new here, it’s no secret that water is a must in everyone’s lives for so many different reasons, particularly if you’re constantly sweating, whether it’s because of hot weather or a tough workout.
To help you prevent dehydration during your fitness journey and in general, we’re here to tell you the importance of drinking water as well as how much you should be drinking daily. Plus, a few tips on how to drink more water so you can meet your daily water goal without struggling!
Why should you stay hydrated?
This is the million-dollar question because most people know that they should stay hydrated, but they don’t know exactly why. Because of this, not everyone gives water the importance that it deserves, but just a few sips of water a day won’t keep your body fully hydrated!
Water is found everywhere in your body, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, inside and outside. Every single cell needs it to function properly, which means that all your organs have water in them playing an important role:
- Your kidneys regulate water levels in your body, and they use it to cleanse and remove waste from your blood and flush it out in the form of urine
- Your brain uses water to help your brain cells communicate clearly with each other, promoting concentration, enhanced short-term memory, and improved mood, among other things
- Your gastrointestinal tract, which includes your stomach, needs water to aid in digestion and avoid constipation, as well as to properly absorb nutrients
…And so on! Additionally, water can be your best friend if you’re on a weight loss journey or want to keep a healthy weight since it naturally suppresses appetite and improves your metabolism. This means that drinking enough water can help avoid overeating and burn more calories at rest at the same time.
If you’re an active person, whether you’re on a fitness journey or you just have a demanding job or lifestyle, or maybe you just live in really hot weather, water becomes much more important. A good amount of water is lost through sweat, so you need to stay properly hydrated to keep a healthy cycle instead of just sweating, becoming dehydrated, and crashing.
Not only that, but water also keeps your energy levels high, helps regulate your body temperature, supports muscle building, and keeps your joints lubricated. So, if you’re an active person, make sure to have a water bottle with you at all times so you can stay hydrated before, during, and after any physical activity to make sure you can maximize your performance and take care of your body all at once.
How much water should you drink?
You’ve probably heard about the 8x8 rule: drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. The thing is… that rule isn’t entirely accurate!
The 8x8 rule measures about 2 liters of water per day, and while that’s a great general guideline, everyone’s still very different. We all have different bodies, necessities, and lifestyles. Here are some aspects that you need to have in mind when it comes to how much water you need:
- Activity level: Are you highly active? Do you sweat a lot or use a lot of energy during the day? Then you definitely need more water than others.
- Location: If you live in hot or dry weather or up high in the mountains, you might need more water than people from milder climates.
- Diet: Some people have very hydrating diets (lots of fruits and vegetables), but if your diet consists of a lot of salty, sugary foods, or caffeine, then you need more water to compensate.
- Health: Water isn’t only lost through sweat and urine, but also through vomiting and diarrhea. Certain medical conditions also require drinking more water, such as diabetes, or if your daily medication includes diuretics.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the total water intake should be 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women.  This is including all liquids and foods consumed during the day, which is why considering your diet is so important, not just water alone.
All in all, following the 8x8 rule, is perfectly fine as long as you’re not losing a lot of water through urine, sweat, or any other way. You can even get by without drinking the full 8 glasses per day, but always try to keep your water levels in check by assessing your overall health and mood. Are you feeling grumpy, dizzy, or unfocused out of nowhere? Then go grab your water bottle – it might be mild dehydration talking!
Tips on how to drink more water
Now that you know how important water is, the next step is making sure you’re getting all that water into your body. Not everyone’s an avid water drinker, some struggle with it more than others, so here are a few ways to help you drink more water:
Always keep a refillable water bottle with you
It’s easier to forget to drink water if you don’t have it right in front of you, which is why keeping a refillable water bottle with you at all times is a great hack to stay hydrated.
You can make sure you enjoy the experience even more by choosing a water bottle that you like with a cute design or one that’s marked with ounces or hours so you can see your daily progress more easily. You can even put colorful or motivational stickers on it! The important part is that you always keep a full bottle with you no matter where you go.
Add some flavor to it
Flavored water can make the experience much more enjoyable because plain water can get boring really fast, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy drinking it.
You can buy flavored water at the grocery store if you want, always keeping an eye on unwanted added sugars, but you can go the natural and budget-friendly way and add some flavor yourself at home! Add a few drops of lime, or slice some strawberries and toss them into your water bottle. You can go the extra mile and add different fruits with some herbs like mint to make it extra flavorful and enjoyable – it’s up to you!
Keep track of your water intake
There are different ways you can keep track of your water intake to make sure you’re drinking enough, and that you’re not forgetting to do it throughout the day.
For example, you can download a water tracking app that reminds you to drink water and keeps track of how much you’ve drunk so far in a day. Or, you can go the manual way and keep a notebook or a whiteboard checklist with how many ounces you’ve had and how many more to go. This is a great way to remember to drink water because you’re setting a visual goal!
Add more fruits and veggies to your diet
Having a hydrating diet means eating water-rich foods such as fruits and veggies because they can help support your water intake so you don’t have to drink so many glasses per day.
If you’ve eaten watermelon before, you already know how watery is it. Watermelon is in fact 91% water, which is great for your body, and other fruits such as cantaloupe and honeydew melon are equally as hydrating. When it comes to vegetables, lettuce, celery, and zucchini are all incredibly hydrating since they’re up to 96% water. So make sure to include plenty of salads, smoothies, and fruit bowls in your diet!
Drink a full glass of water at certain times
Creating habits can be tough at first, but once you’re used to them, it’ll be second nature. A great habit to develop for drinking water is to drink a full glass of water at specific times of the day!
For example, drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Sit down, have a good stretch, and drink your first glass of water of the day. If you’re using a refillable water bottle, you can measure it by ounces, such as drinking 8 ounces right away. Another good idea is to drink a glass of water before eating, that way you can get rid of any thirst disguised as hunger and give your metabolism a little pump, all while you stay hydrated.
Make water your new best friend
If you make drinking enough water a habit, you’ll start seeing the benefits very fast. A clear mind, clear skin, clear urine – everything! And if you’re an active person with muscle-building or weight loss goals, water will help you get there faster by improving your metabolism, helping absorb and carry the necessary nutrients throughout your body, and supporting your energy levels. So go fill that water bottle!