How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?

Great question! But the reality; there is no hard and fast answer. We have heard 8 glasses a day for years, but how on earth is that the best answer for all of us?

Yes, we are all primarily made up of water, but just like in most things, we are all different in our needs. A great starting point is to take your weight, divide that number in half, and drink that many ounces.

For example:

Me: 130/2= 65 ounces

I really like how universal this formula is for everyone. The hubs weighs about 200, so he goes for 100 ounces a day.  Our 3 year old is about 35 pounds, so we shoot for her to get in about 17 ounces of water a day. This is simply a good place to start.

 

Thirsty!

The other major aspect of how much water to drink can depend on your environment, both internally and externally. Humidity and heat especially, can do a number on all of us, but exercising in these conditions can be a recipe for disaster. Years ago, I watched the Rock and Roll Marathon here in San Antonio, and the conditions were terrible; incredibly high humidity, coupled with unseasonably high temperatures – even for us locals. Due to this, multiple professional marathoners either decided to run only a half or dropped completely. They knew that the conditions were not ideal for their bodies and did the right thing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  People can and do get seriously injured or worse when they do not pay attention to their thirst and what is going on in and around them. We all know the very first thing that we should do when we start getting that back of the throat tickle, or our kid or cubicle neighbor starts coughing, is to up the water intake. Our bodies need water every single day, especially when we are fighting off or recovering from illness.

Coming into summer, here are some symptoms of mild dehydration:

  • Thirst
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue or Weakness
  • Chills
  • Dry Skin
  • Skin Flushing
  • Dark Colored Urine
  • Dry Mouth
  • Head Rushes

Further Dehydration can cause:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration
  • Decreased sweating
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased body temperature
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tingling of the limbs

Cases of extreme dehydration can also cause:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Racing pulse
  • Shriveled skin
  • Dim vision
  • Painful urination
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Chest and Abdominal pain
  • Unconsciousness

Dehydration is not something to ignore, and it has a fairly straightforward resolution – drink more water. Of course, like anything, that can be easier said than done.

Today I carry water with me absolutely everywhere. Yes, I have a mom purse, and it can be heavy at the start of the day with my 40oz water bottle, but it’s 100% worth it.

I find that I will drink more water out of a bottle than a cup or a glass. It is a mental thing. I also prefer room temperature water, where as others need to have their’s chilled. Some people love straws. Others want lemon, lime, or other fruits infused. It’s all in what works for you. Anyone with a soda addiction might want to start with a fizzy water like La Croix.  Swapping out one soda a day for water, or even having one after finishing 40 ounces of water as a reward, is a great place to start.  Think progress not perfection.

So many people get “sick” of water, but once you start drinking an adequate amount, and find out what makes the water taste better to you, that can go away. You will start to feel better, and often times your body, and especially your skin will thank you. You may even begin to enjoy it.

 

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