Experts disagree about the exact amount of water a person should drink each day, but there's one thing no one disagrees about: consuming ample amounts of water can have incredible health benefits and can help a body remain energized. Just as a flower wilts when it's deprived of water, the human body becomes fatigued and sluggish when dehydration sets in.
Why Water is Important
Water is a major source of energy for the body. Studies suggest that even a slight decrease in the water content of one's body can cause a dramatic decrease in energy levels. Adequate water consumption enables our bodies to regulate the blood's pH level, which is important for maintaining energy and vitality. Water is also important for our bodies in its ability to help stimulate the metabolism and avoid obesity and its ability to assist in the normal circulation of blood and, therefore, the transport of nutrients throughout the body. Water also helps the body eliminate waste and harmful toxins that contribute to illness. And it's safe to assume that science still hasn't uncovered all of the benefits our bodies enjoy from water consumption.
Tips for Consuming an Adequate Amount of Water
Analyze How Much Water Your Body Needs: Before you can ensure that you consume an adequate amount of water, you have to determine what "adequate" means for your body. Spend a few weeks drinking varying amounts of water daily to help you determine how much it takes to make you feel energized, satisfied, and healthy.
Make a Daily Water Goal: Once you determine how much water your body needs daily, make it a personal goal to consume that amount each day.
Create a Routine: With your water goal in mind, try to develop a routine for how and when you get your H20 intake. For example, if it helps you to drink a glass at the same time each day, make it a point to fit water into your daily schedule.
Make it Convenient: If you have to make a lot of effort to find water, establishing your routine could be tricky. Therefore, make sure you always have a bottle of water close by so adhering to your routine doesn't become a chore.
Don't Wait Until You're Thirsty: The sensation of thirst is an indication that your body needs fluids. If you wait to consume water until your body gives you a sign that it's dehydrated, you're essentially depriving yourself. Just as you shouldn't wait until your car's fuel tank is empty before you stop by the gas station, you shouldn't deny your body of nourishing water until the cravings set in.
Consider Your Level of Activity: Although your water goal is a good place to start, don't overlook the possibility that your daily activity may create a need for more water consumption sometimes. For example, on days where you exercise, you may need a more hydration than on days when you're inactive.
Consider Your Climate: If you spend a lot of time outdoors in warm weather, you may need to increase your water intake. In contrast, during cooler times of year, or during days when you spend most of your time in the comfort of a temperature controlled home, your body may not need as much water.
Avoid Excessive Water Consumption at Night: Drinking a lot of water late in the day could make for a restless night if you have to go to the bathroom periodically. To ensure a good night of sleep that will help you stay energized and active, consider minimizing your fluid intake during your final waking hours each day.
Grab Water When Hunger Sets in: Studies suggest that consuming water when those initial hunger pangs emerge can help to curb appetite, and we all know that overeating can cause low energy and sluggishness.
Spice it Up: Is the taste of water too bland for you? That's ok. While water in its purer forms is ideal, drinking water that's flavored with something like lemon or lime is better than not drinking water at all. Also, if your particular local water has an odor or unpleasant taste, invest in a water purifier or filter, or add bottled water to your weekly grocery list.
Dilute Other Beverages: If you're not ready to commit to water completely and still have cravings for other drinks, like juices, add water to those beverages to help you stay on course.
Eat Water Rich Foods: Eating foods with a lot of water content, such as watermelon, can help supplement your daily routine.
Monitor Your Urine: Yes, it's gross, but its color really can be a telling indicator of whether or not your body needs water. Obviously, the clearer your urine is, the better hydrated you're likely to be.
Check Your Wallet: If you're able to enjoy your home's tap water, then your beverage of choice could be 100% free. And opting for water instead of soda or tea at a restaurant could save you tons over the course of a year. In short, don't discount the financial benefits of drinking lots of water.
What other tips help you keep hydrated?
Brett Warren is a biochemical engineer from Boston, Massachusetts who develops sports supplements for Force Factor . He has done extensive research on nutrition and is an expert on nutraceutical science. He also has a passion for fitness and health. Brett's work at Force Factor is supplemented by an active family life with plenty of gym time and outdoor recreation.