We may be able to go weeks without food, but only days without water. 92% of our daily water needs must be ingested, and unlike nutrients, our body can’t store water.
Did you know that a drop of just 2% of the body’s water content will cause fatigue?! Some more early signs of dehydration are:
- Cravings (a big one!)
You know that feeling when you are craving something but you just can’t define what? In those moments particularly you are likely dehydrated. Drink a glass of water first and see if the cravings subside.
Long-term symptoms can include:
- Heartburn (we need water to make sufficient stomach acid),
- Joint pain (water helps to lubricate the joints),
- Back Pain (dehydration puts strain on the kidneys)
But, what is truly our daily need for water? I’m sure we’ve all heard the mantra to drink 8 glasses of water each day. While it is a good starting point, it doesn’t ring true for everyone.
To find your specific water needs, start with this formula to get a more specific baseline for you:
Your Body Weight / 2
= Ounces of water to drink each day
If you sweat considerably while working out or in hot weather, you’ll want to increase the amount of water you are drinking to replace what you are losing. One method to test just how much water you need to drink is to weigh yourself before the workout and after to see how much water you lost. Then, ADD that much more water to your regime for the day.
If you drink 8 ounces of coffee in the morning then you will want to add 12 ounces of additional water to your daily intake. The same rule applies for soda, caffeinated tea, alcohol and even juice. (Juice is really just sugar in liquid form and ultimately a diuretic.)
But, if you are like most people you kinda know how much water you need to drink. It is just the doing that is the problem. Maybe you start off well and then things just fall to the wayside. So here are my three simple tools to drink more water:
1. Track It
The most effective way to really know how much water you are drinking each day is to track it. This can be as simple as pen and paper. (I made a little chart for my daughter since this is a challenge right now! And this has been super motivating for her to fill in her chart each day. Win-win.) Or there are several great free Apps you can use track your water intake AND give you reminders on your phone:
2. Make an Infusion
Some people just really struggle with drinking plain water, so if this is you, try an infusion. These are simple recipes you can make the night before and have tasty water all day long.
Lemon Balm Water
10 leaves Lemon Balm
2 slices Lemon
1 slice cucumber
4 cups water
Lime Mint Water
10 leaves Peppermint
2 slices lime
4 cups water
Let sit for 2 hours and up to 8, chill and enjoy!
2-4 ounces Coconut Water
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Pinch or two of sea salt
12-16 ounces water
3. Add Sea Salt
If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue or depleted in your minerals, then plain water may not taste great to you. Try adding a pinch (or several) of your favorite sea salt to the water. (Himalayan Salt, Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, etc.) Your taste buds will tell you when it’s too much. You might be surprised at just how easy water goes down with a little sea salt added in. This is a great afternoon pick-me-up too.
What’s your favorite water infusion? Share in the comments below!