Drink more water! How often do you hear that, and how often do you say “I’m going to drink more water” and never stick to it? I’ve done it several times and tend to go through waves of being really good at drinking my recommended amount of water and not being so good at it. With the weather starting to warm up and summer approaching, I thought it would be a good time to talk about hydration! I think we all know that water is good for us, but here are some specific reasons why our bodies need water.
- It regulates your body temperature
- It lubricates and cushions your joints
- It is necessary for proper digestion and eliminating wastes from your body
These are all pretty important functions of our bodies, so how do we know how much water to drink? The really basic answer is to drink when you are thirsty. How do you think our ancient ancestors survived? How do you think animals, our pets or in the wild, survive? They drink water when they are thirsty! The problem with our modern lives is that we have so many other options for beverages that aren’t helping with our hydration or health in general, because they are packed with sugars and artificial flavors and colors. Soda, sweetened tea, lemonade, or even a beer might temporarily quench our thirst but doesn’t properly hydrate us.
So to help keep ourselves on track, there is a popular formula that recommends you drink half your body weight in ounces each day. If someone weighs 150 lbs, they should drink about 75 oz of water. This isn’t an exact science, but it’s a good guideline to follow if you are struggling to get your water in for the day. If you are exercising and sweating excessively or outside for a good portion of the day when it’s warm, that number will probably need to increase. Another good indicator of your hydration level is to look at your urine. You want it to be a pale yellow. If it’s darker, you need to drink more water!