If you automatically assume you’re drinking enough water, without being intentional about how much you drink, then you probably aren’t.
Counting coffee (or tea or juice) as a good water replacement, because it’s made with water, is also a huge mistake! Yes, our bodies will extract the water from those things – if you were stranded on a dessert island, those things would keep you alive.
But your goal shouldn’t be “stay alive” while surrounded by accessible water. Your goal should be “feel great”. The extra burden we put on or bodies, of processing coffee, tea, juice and especially pop, takes away from some of the amazing benefits you could be seeing if you drank plain water instead.
If you feel great all the time, have lots of energy, are rarely thirsty, and pee often – very light colored or clear pee – then you might actually be getting enough water.
If you are tired, have headaches, digestive issues, muscle aches and pains, trouble sleeping, or dull / dry skin, you probably aren’t getting enough. Water should be the first thing you turn to for health improvement.
Find your bare minimum water intake by dividing your weight (in pounds) in two and THAT is how many ounces of water you should be taking in daily (minimum). So a 160 lb person actually needs 80 ounces of water, which would be TEN 8 oz glasses of water in the day.
If you are very physically active or breastfeeding you will need MORE water.
It really is a miracle drink.
So I was really fortunate to get into the water drinking habit young. I can honestly say that I feel good most of the time. I am not generally tired, I have good skin, I don’t battle my weight. (I didn’t really realize how rare of a thing this was!)
(There are other factors to this too; I try to keep my sugar intake down, I do cardio regularly, and I try to eat whole foods and take good quality supplements. But I am still firmly convinced that water is the foundation for the health of my body.)
When I don’t drink water during the day, I feel crappy that evening. My body is addicted to water! (Well, it’s addicted to knowing what our bodies are supposed to feel like.)
Should you start drinking more water?
I approached the whole “drinking water thing” with one of my favorite life principles: What have I got to lose? Why not try it? And I think that’s how you should approach it too.
I will point out though, that if you are blessed to live in a country where water is free and plentiful, then you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot. If you drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day for a month and you don’t see a single improvement in your health, then quit if you don’t like it.
The body is more than 75% water. (Blood is more than 90% water!) If you can’t see why it would be necessary to make sure your body has enough water to function properly, I can’t imagine what I could possibly say to change your mind.
If you don’t want to drink more water, then don’t.
But if you DO wanna drink more water, just to see if you can reap some of the benefits of drinking water) and just can’t seem to get it done, well, that’s another thing.
Great ways to get yourself to drink more water
Drinking water is a good habit, and like all good habits, you just gotta work on developing it. Do whatever it takes!
I am not a sipper. Never have been. If I relied on sipping water all day to get enough in, it wouldn’t ever happen. But I can stand at the sink and down a glass of water in about 10 seconds. So (when I’m at home), I’ve developed the habit of chugging glasses of water. One first thing in the morning (- that really wakes me up). One as soon as I walk in the door. And about 6 more during the time I get home from work until the time I go to bed. (To where I also take a glass of water, and if I wake up in the night, I have it there with me.) I drink more than the 8 glasses per day, for sure.
#Take it with you. (I never leave the house without a bottle of water. We have 5 of these freaking awesome water bottles and we both take water with us each day to work.)
#Set a timer on your phone, for every hour. Drink when it goes off. (OR download an app – I know they’re out there!)
#Start a water drinking challenge with some friends (to keep you accountable). Here’s a (free) pretty printable you can use to keep track.
#If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, adding squeezed lemon juice or cucumber slices won’t hurt.