If you’re looking to get healthier, lose weight, get clearer skin or all three, we can’t stress the importance of water intake tracking enough. Merely switching from soda and juice to water can bring seemingly endless benefits not only physically, but mentally.
Water is essential for survival. It’s possible to live for a while without food, but water is a different story. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and throughout the day we lose it due to sweating, breathing and, well, going to the bathroom. That’s why it’s so important to drink plenty of water and replace the fluids that you lose during the day.
Instead of shelling out money on detox products or suffering through an intense cleanse, we suggest switching out sugary beverages for water. If that sounds tough, don’t worry — we’ve got some water hacks that’ll keep you going. Trust us, your body will thank you!
So, how much water should you drink per day?
By now, you’ve probably heard how the need to drink eight glasses of water is a little bit outdated. This recommendation appeared in 1945 when the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board laid out guidelines for the American public. Nowadays, however, the National Academy of Medicine recommends keeping it simple — their research suggests simply drinking when you’re thirsty.
Sounds easy, right? Well, if you follow a standard American diet, you’re probably not drinking enough, while quite a few people are out of tune with their sense of thirst. Sodas and juices may quench your thirst temporarily, but they’re not doing your body any favors. Our suggestion? Track your water intake to make sure you’re getting a solid amount.
Our rule of thumb is as follows: Men should drink about 3 liters of water (≈ 13 cups) and women drink 2.2 liters (≈ 9 cups). Aim to drink enough to stave off any feelings of thirst, especially first thing in the morning and between meals. If you’re exercising, be sure to drink extra water to stay hydrated.
The benefits of drinking plenty of water
As we said earlier, the benefits of drinking plenty of water are vast. Whether you want to improve your hair and skin for the better, feel more energized or you just like the way it makes you feel. At the end of the day, drinking water is great for your overall wellbeing.
Below are just a few of the positive side effects you may experience when guzzling down that good ol’ H2O:
Increased energy levels
Drinking more water can equal having more energy. Sure, sugary sodas may give you a quick boost, but they’ll affect your blood sugar levels in the process, leaving you feeling sluggish, sleepy and even irritable once the sugar rush dies down. If kicking your soda habit sounds like torture, try replacing your usual beverage of choice with fizzy water mixed with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. You’ll still get your fix of carbonation without all the additives.
Weight-loss and management
Another benefit of drinking a lot of water is feeling less hungry and more satiated. It can help you stay fuller for longer, meaning you may not have to resort to snacking as often. Here’s a tip: Next time you feel like munching aimlessly, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. Chances are, you’ll completely forget that snack you were craving earlier.
Better skin, hair, and nails
Not only does drinking water play an important role in weight management, but it also promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. No joke — once you stop drinking sugary beverages and juices (yes folks, that includes pure fruit juices), you may start noticing subtle changes like shinier hair, stronger nails and clearer skin.
Detoxing has become a buzzword in recent years, but don’t be fooled. Few detox formulas flush out toxins as well as plain water. Getting enough water can even help you bounce back faster from illness, and it can alleviate symptoms like congestion. Do you enjoy a hot drink when you’re sick? Make an herbal tea without sweetener and count it towards your daily water consumption!
Water is essential for our bodies to work optimally. It affects everything, from cognitive health and athletic performance to even the most fundamental bodily functions like digestion. Researchers have also found evidence showing a correlation between water consumption and a lower incidence of chronic illness. Seriously, how amazing is water, right?
Why bother with water intake tracking?
It may sound like extra work, but water intake tracking can make a big difference when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals. Making a note of when and how much water you drink can keep you accountable and ensure that you don’t forget to drink up.
Stay on track with these tips:
Get a large water bottle — anywhere from a half liter to a liter is fine — with measurements so that you can easily keep track of the amount of water you drink.
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning to hydrate yourself and start your day off right.
Got the munchies? Make it a habit to drink a glass of water whenever you feel like snacking, then evaluate your hunger a few minutes later.
Drink extra water before, during and after exercise to keep from getting dehydrated (speaking of working out, check out these Tabata exercises).
Note down your water intake to identify patterns in your drinking habits and to keep yourself motivated.
Water you waiting for!
If the idea of daily water intake tracking sounds daunting, don’t worry. New habits take practice to form — remember, persistence is key! Try not to beat yourself up if you miss recording an entry. Just jot it down later and soon enough it will become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be a water-drinking machine.
So, how about giving water tracking a try? It works for us, so we’re sure it will work for you too.