Water. We all need to drink it to survive, but how much is enough? If you are like most Americans, you probably aren’t drinking nearly enough to stay fully hydrated throughout your day.
Recommendations on optimal water consumption differ depending on who you’re talking to. Many people suggest drinking 8 glasses of water per day, while the Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.2 Liters while men should drink 3 Liters (or about 100 oz) of water per day.
Other sources will tell you to drink at least 1 oz. of water per pound of body weight. This seems a little closer to what I believe is optimal, at least for myself.
I’m definitely not a medical doctor, and am not qualified to recommend any specific quantity of water for you to drink per day. What I have found what works for me, however, is much more than what has been recommended by medical and fitness professionals.
On any given day, I typically drink between 6-10 liters of water (which translates to 200+ ounces, sipped on throughout the day, not chugged all at once), depending on my activity level on any given day. On days when I have a challenging workout I drink more water than those with minimal physical activity. This is more than triple the volume of water recommended by most sources. When I drink less than this, I begin to feel dehydrated and lethargic.
My typical daily water intake looks like this:
Morning: 1 cup of coffee + 2 liters of water before lunch time
Afternoon: About 2 liters of water from 1pm-5pm
Evening: About 2 liters of water from dinner time to bedtime + 1-2 cups of herbal tea
The Benefits of Drinking Plenty of Water
- Water flushes out toxins and cleanses the body.
- Water supports healthy kidney function.
- Drinking plenty of water will help your skin look younger and healthy. Maybe even radiant 😉
- Aids digestion and keeps things moving.
- Can help relieve and prevent headaches or migraines.
Tips for Drinking More Water Throughout the Day
- Keep a refillable water body on hand at all times. If your water is sitting on the desk in front of you all day, you are more likely to remember to drink it.
- Right when you wake up in the morning, drink a minimum of 8oz of water (up to a 1 liter is extremely beneficial). Since you’ve been sleeping all night, your body has become dehydrated. It’s important to get that water in!
- Water too boring for you? Try adding some lemon slices or frozen berries to give it some flavor. Just fill up a container with water, add the fruit, and refrigerate it over night. In the morning, strain the fruit out and enjoy all the benefits of water with some added flavor and vitamins!
What about coffee or soda? Do those count towards my water intake for the day?
My answer – NO. Since coffee is a diuretic, I don’t think it gives the same lasting benefits as a glass of water. It may even work against your water intake, since it flushes fluid out of your body. As for any type of sugary or alcoholic drink (soda, juice, sweetened iced tea, beer, martini, etc.), this does not count towards your water intake. Alcohol actually dehydrates you. As for the sugary drinks, enjoying them in moderation is fine (fine, but not encouraged), but you should not guzzle down soda after soda because you think it is hydrating you. Think of it more as a dessert than a tool to hydrate your body. If you must drink sugary drinks, try to only enjoy them only in moderation.
If you know you aren’t drinking enough water (you know who you are!), make a conscious effort to up your intake! Drink a few glasses as soon as you wake up, and keep a refillable bottle full of water near you all day.