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Water: Are you Drinking Enough?

Proper hydration is critical to our health! Our bodies are over two-thirds water. We can go weeks without food, but only a few days without water! It is an essential nutrient for all bodily functions & we consider it the foundation of a Healthy Nutrition Pyramid.

new food pyramid

What does Water do for us?

Here are just some of its function in the body:

  • Removes waste & supports natural detoxification
  • Builds & repairs all of organs at a cellular level
  • Proper digestion, assimilation and absorption of food & nutrients
  • Protects tissues, joints, the spine & the nervous system
  • Cushions the vital organs
  • Carries oxygen & other nutrients to the brain & body
  • Needed to manufacture hormones, neurotransmitters etc. in the brain
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Makes up 75% of our brain and our muscles

Our body releases water naturally every day through breathe, sweat, and urine. Unfortunately, most people are chronically dehydrated! Not drinking enough water will affect EVERY system in the body.

Dehydration can show up as any/all of these symptoms:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dry, dull skin or hair
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration & focus
  • Low energy
  • Headache or Migraine
  • Muscle cramps or twitches
  • Poor digestion (indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation)
  • Food cravings or hunger “pangs”
  • Bad breath and/or dry mouth

Water with citrusAcute dehydration, if not addressed, can be life-threatening. Most individuals suffer from chronic low-level dehydration with above symptoms. While most don’t seem “serious”, they do directly affect one’s quality of life & overall functioning.

Not drinking enough water in general can also lead to health problems in the future, such as kidney stones, lowered liver and kidney functioning, muscle  joint damage etc.

How much do we need?

It is recommended that adults consume at minimum, HALF of their bodyweight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, then your body needs 75 ounces each day. Some individuals, depending on their lifestyle, need to drink a gallon or more just to sustain optimal levels!

Our bodies require more water with:

  • Increased activity
  • Any type of exercise
  • Times of sickness
  • Warmer temperatures, such as during the summer
  • Warmer and/or more humid environments

So, how can we drink more water and not make it seem like a “chore”? Here are some easy tips to stay hydrated!

Make it a Habit: Think about some of your current healthy habits. How did you first start them? By just DOING them. At first it might have felt weird, uncomfortable, or consciously think about it. But over time, as you did them consistently, it became a habit & you no longer had to “think” about doing it.

The more water you drink, the more your body will crave it & it will become natural to drink water throughout the day. Plus, you will want to continue because of all the benefits you’ll experience!

  • Start your day with a cup of water. This will activate your organs & literally help “wake up” your brain.
  • Keep a water bottle with you; next to your bed, in your lunch cooler, on your desk at work. BPA-free containers such as stainless steel or glass bottles are ideal to avoid the toxins in plastic.
  • Drink a glass of water before each you eat.
  • Keep track of how many ounces you’ve had in a journal or food log.
  • Set a timer on your phone every hour or two as a friendly reminder to drink up.
  • Sip on water throughout the day will keep you hydrated & improve energy levels.
  • Add fruit or veggies for a fun and different twist. Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, cucumber or even berries can transform water in a special drink.
  • Try “water drops” to flavor your drink. Make sure there are no artificial ingredients, dyes etc.
  • Utilize unsweetened/decaf teas such as green tea to increase your liquid consumption.
  • Avoid flavored carbonated water, sports drinks like Gatorade, all sodas (even diet!) and juices. They are all high in processed and/or fake sugars & wreck havoc on your overall health.

Think Baby Steps: Don’t overwhelm yourself (or your body) by drastically increasing your intake overnight. Instead of tripling your intake in a day, start slow & increase 10-20 oz a day until you are able to maintain that amount. For instance, increase from 30 to 40 oz, then the next week aim for 50 oz. Setting smaller more attainable “mini goals” makes the changes more realistic & maintainable over time!

What are your favorites tips on drinking enough water? Feel free to comment & share below!

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