We all know that water is important. But how much water do we actually need? Factors such as age, gender, exercise, and climate can all impact our daily water intake. Well since I asked the question I should probably tell you the answer. So let's get into it.
The Importance of Hydration:
Fun fact, did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? That's right! A staggering number of people are not consuming enough water daily. Our bodies need water, it's used in almost every process in our bodies, including regulating body temperature, aiding in digestion, and removing waste. Dehydration leads to fatigue, dizziness, and if left unchecked even more severe health issues.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
It's recommended that we daily drink of 125 ounces of water for men and 91 ounces for women*. Ok but let's be real, who has the time to do all that math. Well today's your lucky day, I did the math. If you have a 20oz water bottle then you'd need to drink it 6-7 times for men and 4 1/2-5 times for women (see isn't that better). However, these numbers are just your starting point. Depending on your age, weight, and physical activity level, you might need to drink more.
Factors Affecting Hydration Levels:
- Exercise: Physical activity can lead to a significant loss of water through sweat. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking an additional 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise to replace lost fluids. (drink an additional 20oz water bottle for every hour of physical activity)
- Climate: Hot and humid environments can cause increased sweating, resulting in higher water loss. (Sweat more, Drink more).
- Altitude: High altitudes can cause increased breathing rates and a decrease in humidity, which can lead to dehydration. Drinking more water can help counteract these effects.
Actionable Tips for Improved Hydration:
- Carry a reusable water bottle: Having water readily available encourages more frequent sipping, making it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you get a 20 oz water bottle then you can use the daily amount we used earlier.
- Set reminders: Use a phone app or set alarms to remind you to drink water regularly. you should drink your water bottle every 2 1/2 hours for men and every 3 1/2 hours for women (I did the math again, your welcome).
- Flavor your water: Add fruits or herbs to enhance the taste and make it more enjoyable to drink. (let's be real water is boring)
- Monitor your urine: Pay attention to the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be a pale yellow, indicating proper hydration.
If you want to be healthy and be your best, start with water. Remember to consider factors like exercise, climate, and altitude when determining your daily water intake. By following the actionable tips provided, you can easily improve your hydration habits and lead a healthier life.
*National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2004). Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate.
American Council on Exercise. (2021). Healthy Hydration.