We’ve all heard that we should drink more water – and for good reason. Researchers have found major health benefits to drinking water so here’s the real scoop when it comes to drinking water: What’s the point, how much do we need, and how to make drinking water a habit.
The Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Researchers at Harvard found that water has many important jobs including:
- helping your digestive system & preventing constipation
- flushing bacteria from the bladder
- delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout your body
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
- normalizing blood pressure
Staying hydrated not only helps your body function properly but helps avoid problems associated with dehydration. Those warning signs include:
- low blood pressure
- darkly colored urine
How Much Water Should You Drink?
For most of us the answer starts simply: more. But the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine gets more specific. Their findings conclude that adequate daily fluid intake for men is about 15 cups, and 11 for women. Those cups are literally, 8 ounce measuring cups, not tall glasses. So, the adage of drinking about 8 glasses of water a day stands.
7 Easy Ways to Add Water to Your Routine
Drinking more water can feel like one extra thing that none of us are doing enough of, but it turns out there are a few simple ways you can make drinking water a habit:
#1 Add flavor!
One of the most common complaints about water is the fact that there’s no taste to enjoy. Try this: Add fruit to your water. Sliced fruit including oranges, strawberries or even cucumber slices creates a slightly sweet flavor without adding any extra sugar. (Note: even frozen fruit works beautifully!)
#2 Kick it up with electrolyte powders!
Hydration boosters are another very popular option for adding flavor and multiplying the effects of water on your system.
#3 Invest in a large water bottle with the goal of draining it daily.
We’re sure your Instagram is flooded with water bottles stamped with the hours of the day and motivational reminders. These water bottles provide a drinking goal each hour and are great options to help keep you on track. Some experts have found health benefits from drinking water out of a copper pitcher. But, any large pitcher or water bottle will do the trick.
#4 Add water to a daily ritual.
Drink a glass of water before your morning coffee. Drink another glass before brushing your teeth, and you’re already a quarter of the way toward your daily goal.
#5 Get competitive.
Challenge a friend to see how much you can each drink, and for how many days in a row. A bonus benefit at the end of your challenge may be a newfound habit.
#6 Track it!
Track your water intake with one of many apps available including fun and free options like “Drink water” which reminds you to hydrate and gives a visual representation of your progress throughout the day.
#7 Alternate your drinks.
If you really miss your other drinks like soda and iced tea, why not split the difference? Enjoy a glass of favorite beverage with lunch and shift to water at dinner time. Every little bit helps.
Ready to make drinking water a habit? Share your journey on social media and tag us #youfitgyms. Visit The FitBlog for more Wellness RX – YouFit’s recommended daily prescriptions.