Did you know? Humans can survive for 30-40 days without food, but only about 1 week without water.
The human body is made up of about 60% water, and by the time you feel the urge to drink water, you have already lost approximately 2-3% of your bodies water (source). This means that you should be properly hydrating your body long before you feel thirsty!
Each day, the average adult male should be drinking 13 cups of water, and the average female should be drinking 9 cups of water (source). This amount increases anytime you are doing something that causes your body to lose more water than normal, such as; exercise, illness such as vomiting or diarrhea, breastfeeding mothers, environmental factors, etc.
The easiest way to tell if you are staying properly hydrated is to watch your urine. Clear to light yellow urine is ideal and means that you are properly hydrated.
Besides needing water to survive, there are actually amazing health benefits to drinking enough water!
- Gives you energy! Many of us turn to caffeine when we are feeling sluggish and need a boost of energy. Did you know that you can boost your energy levels by staying properly hydrated? Mental and physical performance starts being affected after losing only 1% of your bodies water. Remember what I said above, we don’t even feel thirsty until 2-3% of our water is lost. This means that we are not performing at our best levels before we even begin to feel thirsty.
- Keeps your skin beautiful Dehydration can cause skin to look dry and wrinkled. Staying properly hydrated keeps skin looking fresh and healthy. Water is the cheapest anti-wrinkle cream available :).
- Prevents bloating This one comes down to the basic physiology of our bodies. If your body does not think it is getting enough water, it will retain (or hold on to) water which causes bloating. Hydrating yourself will get rid of the excess water and also the toxins that build up.
- Great for weight loss Just drinking more water will not cause you to lose weight, but it is proven that people that are well hydrated eat less because they feel less hungry. According to some studies, water can actually help speed up metabolism by increasing the rate at which your body breaks down carbohydrates (source). This can help speed up the process of weight loss. And of course, water is calorie free!
- Cures and prevents headaches Dehydration is a huge contributor to headaches. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches and they can be cured and prevented by staying hydrated.
- Prevents illness Because water is vital to your body functioning at its best, even mild dehydration can leave our bodies more susceptible to illnesses. Drinking enough water can help prevent against a wide variety of illnesses and health problems by boosting your immune system and getting rid of all those nasty toxins that build up.
It is hard for me to drink enough water if I just fill a cup whenever I think about it throughout the day. I like to have a mug with a straw that is always filled. I keep it by me around the house and I am always sipping on it throughout the day. Not only does this make it easier to track how much you are drinking, but you will drink more water without really having to think about it.
If you have a hard time drinking enough water, try putting a little squeeze of fresh lemon in it, or if that is not enough, add some fresh fruit to flavor your water naturally.
Have a wonderful weekend!