Hey FitKit readers! I’m Megan, the face behind Cookies & Crunches, a blog about turning small, healthy decisions into a lifestyle. I’m hugely interested in food and fitness, and I try to share my stories about how easy it is to live a healthy, fun life.
One of the easiest ways to help make yourself just a little bit healthier is to drink more water. Water is cheap, calorie-free, and easy to access, but a lot of us just don’t drink enough of it. Admittedly, I go through some phases where I consciously drink a lot of water and others where I don’t. I always drink a good amount of water while I’m at the gym (TMI alert – it’s essential because I sweat profusely), but I don’t always get enough outside of that. The funny thing is that I can physically feel when I’m getting dehydrated – and it’s never fun.
The most recent reports say the average man should drink about 13 cups of water per day, and the average woman should drink about 9. Those exercising regularly, living in hot climates, or trying to lose weight should drink even more than that.
Drinking lots of water has all kinds of benefits, some of which include:
But besides that, the body physically cannot adapt to dehydration – and dehydration affects every single function of your body. Fluid loss of even 2% of body weight will negatively affect circulatory functions and decrease performance levels.
Some of the signs of moderate dehydration to watch out for include:
But the more serious symptoms can include:
If you maintain a regular daily routine of exercise, water, and healthy food consumption, you probably don’t have much to worry about.
But hear this: you need to be proactive about it. Thirst alone is a poor indicator of how much water is needed. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated!
In an attempt to proactively increase my water intake, I’ve put myself back into a ‘consciously drink more water’ phase – and I’m hoping that it’s for good. There are 128 ounces, or 16 cups, in a gallon, and that’s my goal for each day. It seems like a lot when it’s all in one jug, but putting it all in one jug will help me monitor the intake.
In case you’re looking to increase your water intake, here are some easy tips to help you do so:
Of course, one of the downsides of drinking so much water is that (like me) you probably won’t be able to sleep, drive, attend a meeting, or go to the store without having to stop at a bathroom, but hey… at least we’ll be hydrated!
How much water do you drink per day?
Have you ever suffered from dehydration?