Frequently when trying to create a health plan many of us focus on what we are eating but what we are drinking can be equally important. Staying well hydrated with plenty of water is a key step in helping us feel energized and productive throughout our busy days.
The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend that an average man have 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day and an average woman 11.5 cups (2.7) liters. This liquid can come in a variety of ways including soups, juices, coffee and of course water. Surprisingly 20% of our daily fluid intake comes from food, with the rest from drinks. In fact, some foods like watermelon or spinach are almost 100% water by weight.
Usually our body will tell us when we are thirsty and need more water but some factors like exercise, heat, or pregnancy can throw off our thirst cues. Either way, having a water bottle handy at all times is a good habit to get into. This way we don’t forget to drink and become parched and thirsty.
Your dietician or doctor can help determine how much water is right for you. Some people prefer to get their fluids with juice, soda or sports drinks but we should be careful as these items are high in sugar and calories. Also, caffeine drank in excess can actually make you dehydrated instead of refreshed.
A squeeze of citrus (lime, lemon, orange) into our water can make it more enjoyable and be a great first drink of the day. Whatever works to get you drinking more water is what matters most.
What strategy do you use to make sure you are drinking enough water? We’d love to hear in the comments section.