Happy Friday! It’s a gloomy, and sorta wet, day here in Chicago so I thought… why not talk about WATER on the blog?! So here we are. Let’s get to it!
I’m just going to come out and say it: you’re probably not drinking enough water. Yeah, we all know we should be drinking 8 glasses a day (which is, if you ask me, a totally arbitrary amount – what’s a “glass” anyway?). And according to this article from The Atlantic (published in 2013 – so a bit dated), Americans are drinking more water than ever but it’s still not enough. (As of 2018, pop is still the #1 chosen drink for Americans which is just… NO. Stop that.)
How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?
The amount of water you should be drinking is totally personal to you. And what I mean by this is that this whole “drink 8 glasses per day!” may be enough for some people and not nearly enough for others. However, it’s a good number to shoot for if you’re currently drinking next to none.
So, how much should you be drinking then?
Well, it depends. On so many factors!
Do you workout? Is your job labor-intensive? Do you work outside in the heat? Do you live an otherwise active lifestyle? If yes to any of these, you probably need more water than the average person.
If you’re not sure that you’re drinking enough water, do the pee test. It sounds weird but hear me out, okay? Next time you go to the bathroom, look at your pee. What color is it? If it’s a light or pale yellow, you’re probably on the right track. If it’s a dark yellow, holy MOLY get yourself some water STAT.
(If your pee is really any other color aside from on the yellow spectrum or it smells funky – like Cheerios – get yourself to a doctor. Some foods and medications can cause urine to be another color but if you’re unsure, it’s best to see a doctor.)
Why You Should Drink More of the Clear Stuff
Water is one of the 6 essential nutrients. Essential. So, you know, your body needs it. But why?
- Control your weight: If you’re looking to maintain or lose weight, swapping water in place of other beverages can help! You see, water has zero calories. (Shocking, right?) So when you replace your daily can of coke with the zero-calorie beverage, you’re also removing 150 calories from your diet. 150 calories daily adds up to 1,050 calories per week (or 1/3 of a pound)!
- Flushes out those pesky toxins: Fo’ free! Water helps to keep things moving in your body so that you can properly excrete toxins. No! You don’t need to spend a ton of money on scammy products to get rid of “toxins” because your body, with the help of water(!), does it for you. Amazing.
- Improve hair, skin, and nails: When you’re dehydrated, your appearance suffers. And while I wish I could say I don’t really care about my appearance, the truth is is that I totally do. I certainly don’t have perfect skin but I do my part to stay hydrated. If you’re chronically dehydrated, your skin may look saggy, nails will develop ridges, and hair will look extremely dry. Drink up, stay pretty!
- Workout harder: Dehydration –> cramps –> scaling back your workout. Stay hydrated and hit the pavement without suffering from awful side stitches.
How I Drink 1+ Gallons of Water Per Day
I never used to drink this much water but now that I do it on a daily basis, I can really feel it when I don’t. Headaches, fatigue, you know the deal. I worked my way up to drinking this much but I also try to stay fairly active and, at any rate, I sweat a lot. I also pee like, once an hour. Life is rough, I tell ya. I stay hydrated by always always always having a water bottle with me.
- Carry a (reusable) bottle: When I first started my new job, several coworkers commented on my waterbottle collection. I have a Yeti with a reusable straw that I use most days. I love the Yeti because it maintains temperatures very well and mine is huge (30 ounces!). I also have a S’Well water bottle that I’ll bring to school because it also maintains temperature well and fits in my backpack side pocket. For less pricey options, get a near-perfect Yeti dupe: Ozark Trail 30oz.
- Stock your car: While I’m fully on #TeamReusableProducts, I do keep a handful of plastic water bottles in my car. You just never know when you’ll need some.
- Add some flavor: There are tons of options to add some flavor and many are zero calorie (like adding cut up fruits: strawberries, lemons, limes, mint leaves, etc). I’ve noticed some of my coworkers are a fan of MIO water enhancer.
How much water do you drink everyday? What’s your best tip to consume more?!