In this post you will learn how much water to drink in a day and how to get it from other liquids and foods. You will also learn why drinking enough water is essential to your energy and feeling of well being especially as you age.
This is a question I get from my clients and even my friends and family, “How much water in a day should I drink.” There is a simple and a long form answer believe it or not.
I don’t believe you need to be guzzling down copious amounts of water because you can get your electrolytes out of balance and it really depends how much activity you are doing in the day.
You need to evaluate other factors too such as:
- your body size,
- how much you are sweating and
- the temperature during that day,
- climate humidity,
- amount of fiber in your diet and
- your blood pressure.
For instance, you would be drinking far less in the cold winter than you would in the hot summer months when you are sweating more in the heat and can get easily dehydrated.
There is a simple rule you can follow on average and that is drinking half of your weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 120 pounds then that would be 60 ounces or 7.5 cups or approximately 1.8 liters of water.
However, it doesn’t have to be plain water as you will learn in this post.
Remember, if you are thirsty that means you have waited too long to get hydrated.
As women we can be too busy to drink enough water and put ourselves at the bottom of the "to do" list. But this is only hurting ourselves in the long run.
How to remember to drink your water
There is one trick that is recommended by some health coaches which may help you to dink enough water and that is the elastic band method.
You can fill your 8-16 oz water bottle with your water and put the number of elastics around your bottle that you require in cups.
For example, you could put 8 elastics around a water bottle and each time you drank 8 ounces, you remove the elastic and refill the bottle.
If it is a 16 oz. water bottle, you remove 2 elastics. Then refill the bottle or mason jar until the elastics or rubber bands are gone.
Now this is one way to remember. You may have another way. Let me know in the comment section how you remember to drink enough water.
Just be aware that waiting until you are thirsty is not the best way because by then you are dehydrated.
Signs You Are Not Drinking Enough Water
1. Dry Skin
As you age, you may notice a difference in your skin’s hydration levels. If you have dry skin, that could be a sign of inadequate water intake.
2. Burning Eyes
If your eyes are burning, that could also be a sign of dehydration. Anywhere there is a mucous membrane including signs of constipation which is slow stool transit time and marble hard looking stools.
3. Urine Color
Another way to tell of possible lack of sufficient water is your urine output. Are you peeing well throughout the day or is it coming out in a trickle.
After urinating, check your toilet bowl and see if your urine is too dark and cloudy. A cloudy urine indicates insufficient water intake.
It is difficult to tell with the colour because red urine could be beets for dinner and orange or deep yellow could be excess B vitamins being excreted.
Therefore, you should know if you had these or not and that should help with your assessment for your urine.
In addition, a burning urinary tract is another indication of dehydration or lack of sufficient urination.
If you have come down with a urinary tract infection, then that can happen moreso after the age of 40 because of hormone fluctuations which cause lack of lubrication.
Isn't that is one incentive to drink more water?
4. Dry Mouth
Another sign of dehydration is a dry mouth.
While you are sleeping, you can tend to breathe through your mouth which can dry it out and going so long without water can make your mouth dry too.
Because of this, I often have a glass of water by my bed just in case I wake up with a dry mouth. It really helps and I suggest trying this.
Also, if the water is there when you wake up, you will remember to drink your first glass of water in the day.
A main sign of low water intake is low energy or fatigue, dizziness, headache or weakness.
Nevertheless, most people don’t think about drinking water to have more energy but it is exactly what most of us need when lacking energy.
It’s amazing how much of a difference you will feel by increasing your water intake.
Does quality of water matter?
If you want to drink water for hydration, then you are going to want to drink good structured water.
A good example of this is living water from a spring. It is a good example of structured water that has minerals so you can absorb the water properly into your cells.
Your body will take what it needs and if the water is contaminated, your cells cannot absorb it.
There are many types of water people drink. If you have a filter attached to your water line for the sink, that can be as start.
There are different filters out there you can look at including carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters.
Along with this , one way to check if your tap water is healthy is to check its alkalinity. Alkaline water will have minerals in it too. I tried this experiment with some test strips you can buy at a drug store or at a health food store.
On the package, the color code will tell you what is a good alkaline range. It is usually between 6.5 and 8.5.
Additionally, you can use this test for different bottled water too.
It is worth knowing that when water moves down through the soil it picks up minerals. These minerals such as calcium and magnesium are essential for our health.
This is why it is important to know the source of your drinking water.
What are the Benefits of Drinking a Lot of Water?
Increasing your water intake will help you with these symptoms:
- brain fog,
- preventing urinary tract infections,
- transporting nutrients and absorbing them into your cells,
- produce sufficient saliva which will help you to break, down the food when you are chewing,
- detoxify properly through your feces, kidneys and skin and lungs.
Dehydration causes chronic health problems such as:
- chronic fatigue,
- constipation and colitis,
- cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure,
- kidney stone formation to name a few.
This is why getting enough water in your day is essential to how you feel and overcoming chronic health problems.
However, too much water intake can cause a decrease in your magnesium levels along with other electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, chloride and calcium so you need to be balanced.
But I hate drinking water!
I get this a lot from many women I talk to in personal and online and those I support in my practice. And I understand that drinking plain water can be just flat out boring.
Who wants to drink plain boring water?
Water from the tap tastes so acidic anyway unless you have good well water or a good filter. But even that may not be good tasting enough.
That is why I always suggest flavoring your water when possible. You can drink herbal teas and that still counts as water.
Squeeze a good teaspoon of lemon juice into your glass of water in the morning. Here is another post you can read on the Benefits of Lemon Juice.
You have probably seen blueberries or strawberries added to water. You can even add watermelon.
Water doesn’t have to be boring.
Cucumber water is also an option.
How to get water from your food
Remember how I told you that water has structure? That is because it has the minerals in it and when the water is inside a food, it is easier to absorb too.
Also, it is another way to get your water without drinking it.
Here are some water-rich foods you can start to have available in your fridge for easy access. I teach more about this in my Freedom From Fatigue Solution program and give you a much bigger list. However, this will get you started.
You now know how much water you should drink and the signs to look for when you are not getting enough water.
Just remember it includes herbal teas, many fruits and vegetables and that you can flavour your water too.
You learned how to remember to drink your water with the elastic or rubber band trick.
Additionally, you now know the benefits of drinking water and why the quality of your water matters.
This is the one tip I give in my Energy-Boosting Toolkit.
Tell me what challenges you have with getting enough water? Let me know in the comments!
- Haas, Elson M., Staying Healthy With Nutrition, New York, Ten Speed Press, 2006, pp. 14-15