No matter what lifestyle you follow, hydration is ALWAYS a topic of discussion. We know that we should drink water. But, do we know all of the reasons why? We know that our body is made up mostly of water. But, how much water is actually enough water?
Benefits of drinking water
There are so many benefits to drinking water. From external to internal, you’re body will literally sparkle and shine with hydration.
Water and Weightloss
One thing that I have learned about hydration on my weight loss journey is that sometimes your body really cannot decipher between hunger and thirst. Between meals, rather than reaching for a snack, I’ll grab my water bottle instead and down a few ounces. If my stomach is still grumbling after about 15 minutes, then I know that I am Hungry hungry. More often than not, however, I am satisfied and carry on with my day until my next scheduled meal. This is a win-win! Reduced calories and increased hydration.
How much water is enough?
Typically, it is recommended that everyone drinks eight 8oz glasses of water a day. That is 64oz of water. That sounds easy enough to remember and complete.
I’ve also heard that we should drink a gallon of water a day. I accepted this challenge and found myself unsuccessful. Most days I ended up over the sink at 10pm guzzling ounce and ounces of water trying to meet my goal. However, the only thing that I felt in return was tired… from all of the bathroom trips in the middle of the night. Certainly, drinking one gallon of water a day is a fairly realistic goal with proper planning and dedication. Cute water bottles, water reminder apps, numbering bottle caps every morning to track progress. I even went so far as to eat spicy foods at each meal to make myself need to down excessive amounts of water at a time. For me, this was too much.
So how much water should we really be drinking?
This got me thinking- if we’re all not supposed to eat the same amount of food, why would we all need to drink the same amount of water? According to an article found on WebMD,
“In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.”https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet#2
Using myself as an example, 170 lbs divided by 2 means that I should be consuming no less than 85oz and no more than 170oz of water daily. There are 128 oz in a gallon, so that would actually be my sweet spot on my more active days. However, when there is no extra activity happening, 85oz is enough for me.
*Please keep in mind that this is my interpretation of my numbers and personal hydration experience*…continue
Is there really a such thing as too much water?
The chances are, you’re not drinking enough water. However, it is important to realize that it is definitely possible to over consume water. As great as water is for our body, water also flushes out our electrolytes. Our electrolytes must be restored and balanced to ensure that our cells and general bodily functions are effective.
Over consumption can happen before exercise when we try to over hydrate to compensate for the additional physical activity and avoid dehydration. This can also occur when we drink too much water too quickly. Drinking too much water at once may cause our kidneys to struggle properly filtering it all out.
Medical News Today has an article that explains water intoxication in more detail. They also share the symptoms to look out for if you think you’re drinking too much water.
The best solution is constant hydration, not isolated moments of over consumption. Drinking enough water is a part of our lifestyle.
Check your mental
Please do not let drinking water stress you out. I have been there, obsessing over how many ounces I have consumed by what time and how many more ounces I have left. Whoooo! It is that serious, but it is not that serious. Be kind to yourself, follow the next steps, and set yourself up for success. If you fall short one day, assess and adjust to get those ounces in the next day.
- Calculate how many ounces of water is suggested for your body weight.
- Create a system that will help you track your water consumption- at least until it becomes more of a habit. I found a water bottle that is half of my daily suggestion so I know that I need to drink two full bottles. That also helps me to split my day between the two bottles of water without having to carry around 85 ounces of water all at once.
- Replace non-water drinks with water and/or set drinking standards. Maybe you have to drink one bottle of water before each meal or before consuming any other liquid. If I had to drink a certain amount of water before my morning coffee… all goals would be met! Do you hear me!?
- Create a challenge to track your water intake. I know that when I hit a streak, I become my biggest competition and will not want to ruin my record. Tracking in the Fitbit or MyFitnessPal app helps keep me accountable and motivated to be consistent.
- Be kind to yourself. I said it before, I’ll definitely say it again. Every day will not be a win. If you come up short today, assess and adjust to set yourself up for success tomorrow. Remember the benefits and your WHY to push yourself to meet this daily goal.