Water: we know we need it – but how much? How often? Here are 5 questions asked and answered about water:
How Much Water Do I Really Need to Drink?
The answer? It depends. The general rule of thumb is that at a minimum, adults should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. That’s 64 ounces total. BUT, if you’re sweating (hello summer!), exercising heavily, are pregnant, nursing, have a chronic illness or are sick, you need to be closer to 72-104 ounces of water a day.
Kids need a lot of water too (way more than we realized!). Children 4-8 years old should have 40 ounces or 5 cups. Kids 9-13 need 7-8 cups or 64 ounces a day. Factor in swimming, summer camp, hot weather and general running around, it might be smart to add a few more ounces to those recommendations.
Why Do I Need That Much Water?
Our bodies are made up of nearly 60% water. H2O is essential to flushing out toxins, carrying nutrients to cells, and boosting our immune system by keeping our tissues moist and less attractive to cold and flu viruses. Not to mention creating glowing, clear and, younger looking skin.
When Do I Drink ALL This Water?
Start your day with at least 8 ounces of water right as you wake up. Keep a filled glass at your bedside and chug away as soon as you roll out of bed. Our bodies are without water anywhere from 6-12 hours while we sleep. Hydrating first thing wakes up your system and kicks starts your metabolism.
Grab another 8 ounces about a half an hour before you eat a meal. Not only will you be hydrated, but drinking water before eating can help keep your weight under control. Often feeling hungry is actually hunger for water rather than food. Filling up before you eat can help you eat less and keep your body hydrated.
Get a water bottle that you like – the new generation of insulated bottles are great for keeping water colder longer. Measure how many ounces it holds and then use that to keep track of how many full bottles you drink. Make your goal to drink X number of bottles a day. Set reminders on your phone or on a timer to prompt you to take a swig.
Does it Matter What Kind of Water I Drink?
Filtered? Tap water? PH balanced water? Which one is the right choice? Most experts say that clean water is all you really need. Depending on your health, filtered water may be necessary to remove any contaminates that your body just can’t process. Alkaline or PH Balanced water is great because it allows your body to absorb the water without having to balance the PH first. However, several studies agree that alkaline water is good – in small doses. Meaning it’s good to work it in here and there, but not make it your exclusive source of hydration.
The one type of water that everyone agrees on is flat water. Meaning no bubbles. Sure the sparkling stuff is a good alternative to sodas or juices, but in larger quantities, the Carbonic acid that makes those bubbles can erode your tooth enamel and rob your bones of strengthening calcium.
What if I HATE Water?
You’re in luck! There are so many options to flavor the water you drink to make it more exciting. Infuser bottles are a great way to add some natural flavor. Try lemons, berries, cucumbers or even mint or rosemary sprigs to the diffuser basket to create a refreshing and enticing blend.
There are other additives that can be mixed into your bottle – but make sure you know what you’re using. Check the label for hidden sugar or sodium. Stick with the most natural products as possible. Adding in a bunch of synthetic junk is never a good idea.
If you’re sweating from the summer sun or exercise, grab some natural electrolytes. Mix in some coconut water, lemon or even green tea. And there are several natural electrolyte powders that are a natural way to replenish your system.
Lastly, if you’re really struggling to drink, grab some fruit and veggies. Cucumbers, watermelon, peppers and celery are all great sources of water – and aren’t so boring.