Dehydration can cause you to have headaches, make you tired, irritable and depressed, gain weight, and allow toxins to build up in your body. Because our bodies are made up of nearly 70% water, water affects the way every organ in our body functions. Without adequate amounts of water, our body cannot function the way it needs to.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
We have all heard the 8 glasses of water a day rule. In reality, we should be drinking about 50% of our body weight in ounces of water every day. A 160 pound person should be drinking about 80 ounces of water every day, more if they are active or live in a dry or hot climate. Pregnant women need extra water (about 100 ounces a day) to prevent many complications of pregnancy, including toxemia.
It is important to drink water throughout the day, even if you do not feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Thirst can often be confused with hunger, causing us to eat more calories than we really need in a day and causing unnecessary weight gain.
What About All The Bathroom Trips?
So how do you drink that much water and how do you do it without spending the entire day in the bathroom? As you begin to drink more water, you will spend more time in the bathroom. That is because your body is not used to having adequate amounts of water and is working on flushing out all the toxins that have built up in your body from being chronically dehydrated. As your body adjusts to taking in healthy amounts of water, so will your bladder.
It can help to drink small amounts of water throughout the day, rather than large amounts of water in one sitting. Try to drink 4-8 ounces of water every hour and more first thing in the morning or after exercising.
Easy Ways To Increase Your Water Intake
Carry a water bottle with you. You are more likely to drink water if you have it readily available. Carry a reusable, BPA free water bottle whereever you go and sip from it throughout the day.
Drink from a straw. Using a straw helps you to drink larger amounts of water in a short period of time. A few sips from a straw will give you more water than sipping from the side of a cup and you probably won’t even realize the increase until you have to refill your cup.
Add a slice of lemon or lime to your water. Commercial flavored water has a lot of additional calories and chemicals that you do not need. Flavor your own water if you want to change things up, or if you don’t like the taste of your tap water, by adding a slice of lemon or lime. You may find that it is easier to increase your water intake by giving your water some extra flavor.
Drink a full glass of water before every meal. Not only will this curb your hunger (which could be thirst in disguise anyway) but it is an easy way to remember to stop and rehydrate throughout the day.
If all else fails, set a timer at the top of every hour to remind yourself to have a drink of water. It’s easy to get busy and forget to take care of yourself, but you will be much more productive if you take the time to meet your own needs.
What tips do you have for increasing your water intake?