So, let’s talk about how much water you need to be drinking.
Okay, listen: We heard you roll your eyes at us, and we get it. Water’s boring. But so is lying around all day because your energy keeps hitting the snooze button. So just hang with us for a few minutes.
Even if you slept through your freshman biology class, you probably remember that people, in all our complexity, are mostly just… water. The exact percentages vary a bit depending on our age, gender, and fitness level, but an average adult is more than 60% water. The percentage is even higher in our vital organs—brain, liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, and so on.
To put that in perspective, an adult weighing 150ish pounds is made up of about 42 liters of water. (Imagine, if you will, carrying around 21 bottles of soda.) And that water isn’t just sloshing around in there, either; it’s making our bodies work. Among other things, water:
- regulates our body temperature
- transports minerals and other nutrients
- helps to flush waste
- protects our brains and spinal cords
- develops saliva, which is critical for digestion
- lubricates our joints
Now, on average, adults lose nearly three liters of water per day through urine and bowel movements, breathing, and sweating. If we aren’t purposeful about replenishing those lost fluids, we’ll wind up dehydrated—the consequences of which range from mild fatigue to organ failure. No good, right?
The Water Challenge
So exactly how much water do we need to drink to stay adequately hydrated? According to the Mayo Clinic, most healthy men need three liters of fluids (13 cups per day or 104 ounces) and most healthy women need just over two liters (nine cups or 72 ounces) per day.
So, here’s our challenge to you: Drink that. And if you’re sick, pregnant or nursing, regularly exercise, live in a hot or humid environment, or live at a high elevation, drink more than that.
Okay, okay, you’re right. It’s not exactly that simple, is it? Here are some specific ideas to help you drink more water:
- Check the color of your urine. If your urine is dark yellow, you’re not drinking enough. Increase your water consumption until it’s clear or light yellow.
- Assess your thirst level. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you’re rarely thirsty, you’re likely getting enough fluids.
- Use mealtimes as a prompt. Have a glass of water before, during, and after each meal.
- Drink water while exercising. Drink some before and after your workout, too.
- Drink other no- or low-calorie beverages. If you’re having trouble getting enough plain water down, try fruit-infused water or unsweetened coffee or tea.
- Use a gallon jug. Mark the outside of a clean, gallon milk jug with benchmark times and some motivational messages. Fill the jug with water every night, and drink the whole thing the next day. Need some inspiration for how to pretty-up your jug? Check out these images.
It’s good to check with your doctor before you launch any new nutritional or exercise program, so be sure to do that. Also, don’t go all over-achiever and decide you’re going to drink a gallon of water before breakfast.
Although it’s uncommon, drinking too much water too quickly can cause hyponatremia or “water intoxication.” This condition occurs when we drink more than our kidneys can process, which sends our sodium levels all out of whack, which can lead to swelling in the brain, seizures, and coma. In general, then, it’s best to spread out your fluid consumption throughout the day, and if you’re engaged in intense exercise consider replacing some water with sports drinks.
Diary of a Fit Mommy partnered with us and did a 2- week water challenge!
Replacing soda and energy drinks with green coffee bean from pureLYFT helped her get through her water challenge with ease! Switching out sugary drinks for water is very beneficial for our health. You can sign up today to join our pureLYFT water challenge by entering your email below into our mailing list!
PureLyft offers a calorie-free energy boost and is the perfect mix-in for your water challenge. Try one of our four flavors today: original, mixed-berry, orange, or lemon-lime.