Am I drinking enough water?

Have you ever asked yourself, “am I drinking enough water?” If you have, you’re not alone. Drinking enough water can be a challenge, but having the proper amount every day can prove beneficial to your health.

Here are some tips to help you get on track with your water intake.

Do the Math

How much water should you be drinking? While you may be familiar with the “eight glasses a day” rule, this doesn’t apply to everyone. In fact, your daily recommended water intake is based on many factors, such as age, sex, and activity level. The Institute of Medicine currently recommends around 3.7 liters (or 13 cups) for men and 2.7 liters (or 9 cups) for women. If you’re exercising or it’s hot out, bump it up to an additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water.

Stay Informed

Those most at risk for dehydration include anyone who exercises at a high intensity or in hot weather for long periods of time, anyone who is sick, or anyone who is pregnant, or breastfeeding. However, anyone not drinking the proper amount of water daily can be susceptible to dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration include little to no urine, urine that is darker than usual, dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, and extreme thirst.

Know the Benefits

Drinking water doesn’t just keep you hydrated—it’s important for most of your body’s processes. Without the appropriate amount of water, your body wouldn’t function properly. The benefits of drinking water include helping your body digest food and eliminate waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements; regulating your body temperature, and lubricating and protecting your joints and spine. Water also keeps your skin—your body’s largest organ—hydrated, helping you look your best.

Do Yourself a Favor

While you may need to remind yourself to drink enough water at first, it will eventually become a habit. Make it easier on yourself by taking small steps. Buy a reusable water bottle you can refill throughout the day. Not only will this save you money, it’s also better for the environment than plastic bottles. If the plain taste of water is a deterrent, try adding flavor with some fruit (lemon, lime, strawberries, raspberries), veggies (cucumber, ginger), or herbs (mint, basil, lavender). If you’re struggling to hold yourself accountable, download an app such as Plant Nanny or Daily Water to remind you. Or, If you want to take it to another level entirely, get a smart water bottle which tracks your water intake and glows to remind you to drink.
NWPC is here to help you get back on track. With resources, tools, and expert advice, let us help answer any questions you may have.