It has been said that we are all made of at least 60 percent water. We have the most water when we are babies, and tend to lose that water permanently when we get older and older. Most of this water, whether it is water we drink or get from eating foods, or water we still have since birth. Most of that water leaves our bodies through urine and perspiration.
Debunking The “Eight Glasses A Day” Myth
The belief of drinking eight cups a day has been repeated so often that it has been long forgotten who first came up with this rule.
Although in the 1940s, the National Research Council suggested that 2.5 liters of water is the recommended daily intake for adults. That 2.5 liters does equate to eight glasses, however, this statement did also mention that most of this water was to be included with certain foods that we ate.
There was no indication for how much actual water that we are supposed to drink. Food specialists also have expressed that other beverages can be consumed to get your intake of water, not just water itself.
The Importance Of Water In Our Lives
Water plays a very important role in our lives. By drinking enough water you can get plenty of electrolytes and sodium, maintain a normal body temperature, provide yourself with protection of various bones, joints, organs, and tissues, and keep your blood pressure normal, avoid constipation, keep bacteria out of the bladder, send oxygen and nutrients to your cells all about the body and have a better digestive system.
Water is great to drink, and at the same time, it is something that we all need. Without water to drink, we would all die within two or three days. We all receive water from food, too.
Different foods have varied amounts of moisture, and they can contribute to out water intake overall. It is reported that over 20 percent of water intake in the United States comes from food.
In Asian and European countries, this percentage is much higher due to the high consumption of fruits and vegetables. These foods have much moister than carbohydrates and meat, which is one of the main reasons why they are essential to a healthy diet.
What Counts As “Enough Water”?
When we talk about the intake of water and wellness, it can be rather trivial because most of the knowledge on this subject compares water consumption to dehydration and other illnesses and conditions.
There are insufficient amounts of research that express if we only stay hydrated to not get sick, compared to the amount of research that suggests to drink water if we are dehydrated. There might be a threshold of water that we drink to prevent from being dehydrated, but still not enough to be considered fully hydrated. So how much water is truly enough for us?
The Impact Of Dehydration
Once we realize how much water to drink per day to avoid dehydration, we can opt to drink more beyond this minimum intake. However, this minimum actually varies by lifestyle.
For instance, people with athletic lifestyles like sporting athletes and military personnel are very interested in keeping their physical performance up. In high-demanding workouts and exercises, you can lose as much as a tenth of your body weight by sweating it out.
This can definitely be considered dehydration. Dehydration can really change the way you feel about working out, and you will find doing so to be more difficult than if you were optimally hydrated.
The thought of hydration affecting our thinking does not often cross out minds, either. Even a mild case of dehydration can play a role in how we think and feel. Without water, our abilities to remember, focus, and stay alert all take a hit.
A lack of hydration also acts a means of stress, so this stressor is also actually competing to grab our attention and our way of thinking, while also taking a toll on mood as well.
The real answer to how much water you have to drink really depends on a number of factors. If you typically consume healthy foods and drinks, then 4 glasses are not really outside the realm of possibility. Realistically, you can drink a glass of water or juice with every meal, drink an extra glass when you feel thirsty, and eat plenty of foods that contain water as well.
If you don’t think that your diet has enough fruits or vegetables to make up your required intake, simply add a glass of water to your meal. It is also appropriate to drink water after workouts, from how weather, or if you are feeling sick.
How To Regularly Drink Water By Routine
One of the best ways to be on top of your game when it comes to drinking enough water is by buying a water filter, also known as a water purifier, for the home. The decision to invest in a filter will make you want to justify owning one.
All filters on the market today are meant to make any type of drinking water taste better. If you are not a regular water drinker, a purifier could perhaps change your stance on drinking water regularly.
Water purifiers mainly come in the form of pitchers. Pitchers are the most affordable water purifiers to buy, and do a great job at making water more better-tasting.
However, these pitchers are not the best when it comes to making water healthier, and they do not do a great job in removing dissolved solids. Some of these pitchers have alkaline water options, which some people love to have in their purifier.
A countertop water purifier is the most likely to help remind you to drink more water. You will always need to approach your sink multiple times a day in order to wash your hands, cook, or clean the kitchen. These purifiers perform in virtually the same way as pitchers do.
The best and healthiest type of purifier is the under sink water purifier. They will give you the purest water to drink every single time. They are available in a number of shapes, sizes, and filtration features.
The Link Between Water And Behavior
There are many reasons why companies and officials keep repeating this belief of drinking eight glasses of water a day. Either they want you to stay healthy, be completely sustained throughout the day, or simply buy more bottled water like an advertisement.
Drinking eight glasses of water a day does sound like too much to ask for many of us, though. Even drinking four glasses like before can sound very hard to do.
Various studies have discovered that people who are older, are crankier, and live in the Northeastern United States have one thing in common, which is not drinking enough water.
Getting older is not a choice, and moving to another part of the country will not make much of a difference, so the one change that can help is choosing a healthy diet which also include more water, since as stated before, a lack of hydration leads to more stress. This is the most desirable result, even though four glasses of water a day is perfectly doable.
Substituting Unhealthy Drinks With Water
Water does not contain any calories, so it is a great alternative to high-calorie beverages and sugary drinks. Drinking water makes it simple for you to maintain a decent body weight and will also reduce the likelihood of tooth and dental problems.
High-calorie beverages can also lead to other diseases that are associated with too much intake of sugar, especially when you are not getting enough water in your diet. Drinking water will provide you with health benefits that coffee, soda, and juices simple cannot provide.
If you are worried that you may not be drinking enough water, here are some helpful hints to where you can end up drinking more water throughout the day.
1. Keep bottled water with you
Whether you are on the couch, at your desk, in the car or out and about, having bottled water means that you can always have something to drink no matter where you are. You can even keep bottles of water in multiple places at once, so that you can never be without a bottle of water at any point in time.
2. Keep water cold when you want to store it
Having water easily accessible is a good thing, but it doesn’t stay cold, of course. It will often get warmer rather quickly. If you like cold water, store some in freezer-safe water bottles. Store this bottle in the freezer, rather than the refrigerator.
The reason for this is so that the water you drink gets colder and will be much slower to return to room temperature. You can start your day with a completely chilled bottle of water and it can still be relatively cool by 3 p.m.
3. Have water with you as you are drinking another beverage
If you are planning on drinking a soda or an alcoholic beverage with your meal, have some water with it, too. There is a reason why some restaurants decide to serve you water before you get your drink of preference.
Drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol will make you even more thirsty, but water will be able to stop this thirst. Sodas and juices do not quench your thirst, but only make you want to drink more and more, which leads to taking in more calories that you do not need.
If you can help it, have the water replace your beverage outright, as a 20-ounce beverage is about 240 calories, which will require an hour of walking or jogging in order to burn off. Water will also save you money when you go have a fine meal somewhere.
4. Add flavor to your water for more enjoyment
Water, admittingly, does taste very bland by itself. This is why many people opt to choose another beverage over water to begin with. However, there are many ways in which you can make water taste better without changing up its formula that would make it less healthy for you.
Adding fruit is the first way, in which you can enhance water with a wedge of lemon, orange, or lime. This will add a dash of delicious flavor to any water that you can drink.
There are also flavor boosters out there what are sugar free. You can squirt these in any glass of water to get a yummy taste of fruit no matter where you are. Squirt some in your water bottle, in another glass of water at the restaurant, or any place that you take your flavor booster. Flavor boosters can even be used in conjunction with a water purifier.
You can replace water outright with all-natural juice that does not include sugar. Apple, pomegranate, and cranberry juices are delicious, and contain various antioxidants and vitamins that can help you in many different ways.
There are also other types of drinking water to try, including sparkling water, carbonated water and mineral water. These waters have their own dash of flavors and other added benefits that you would not find in regular bottled water or tap water.
So to reiterate, how many bottles of water should you drink a day? or how many glasses of water should you drink per day? Our concrete answer is not eight, but four. If you already have a healthy and established diet, these four glasses are not outside of your reach already. Make it a daily routine so that it does not get quickly forgotten about. Drink extra water for when you are about to go outside, work out, or in the events of sickness.