Magazines, blog articles, diet books, and fitness experts love to tell you exactly how much water you should drink. Most of them will say six to eight cups per day. Or, sometimes, you’ll hear that you require 50% of your body weight in ounces.
Whether it’s because of our busy schedules, or all the caffeinated products we drink, or maybe it’s just because we don’t crave water – whatever the case – it’s estimated that 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. No wonder we don’t feel good.
Before we get into exactly how much water is right for YOU to drink every day, let’s chat about some of the symptoms of dehydration. It’s important to begin here so you have a starting point in understanding whether or not you might be suffering from a shortage in your daily water intake.
Number one: Fat loss and weight loss resistance.
When your body doesn’t have enough water, your metabolism slows down. Your body needs a certain amount of water just for metabolic processing. Couple this with the fact that dehydration makes it hard for our bodies to utilize fat as fuel. In other words, it makes it difficult for ketones to be produced in the krebs cycle. Thus, it’s easy to see how when you’re dehydrated you’re just packing on pounds. You’re definitely storing more fat.
Number 2: Ongoing digestive problems.
Hydration is essential for every bodily function, especially when it comes to digestion. Even slight dehydration can have a huge impact on your digestive process. If you suffer from constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or any type of dysbiosis, your first step is to just start drinking enough water. How simple is that? And it’s free.
Number 3: Bloating and water retention.
Does that sound like an oxymoron? Listen, when your body doesn’t have enough water, it knows it’s under attack. It has to hold onto what it has. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for someone who isn’t drinking enough water to feel bloated and puffy – which, then, usually makes them restrict water because they think they’re retaining too much water. Meanwhile, their body’s retaining too much water because it’s not getting enough water. Got it?
Number 4: Brain fog, headaches, depression, inability to focus.
You see, our brains rely heavily on our blood supply to function. When our blood supply is restricted due to dehydration, our brain doesn’t function properly. Everyone of us has experienced a throbbing headache or an inability to concentrate. Then once we’re hydrated, wow, it’s like the fog lifts!
Number 5: Low blood pressure, hypertension, sudden drop in blood pressure, weakness.
Dehydration creates an imbalance in our salts and electrolytes in our body. Which is why it’s more important now (that you’re phasing your diet) to ensure you are getting proper hydration every single day. And, most importantly, as you approach any fasting week.
Number 6: Dry skin, urinary tract infections, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, premature aging, i.e., wrinkles, and high cholesterol.
Now that you understand the symptoms, hopefully you have some clarity. Do any of the above sound all too familiar? If so, that’s a great start!
Well, let’s get back to the point at hand. How much water should you be drinking on the daily?
Here’s the bottom line…
The problem with most recommendations is they’re general. They don’t take into account how tall you are, how much sodium is in your diet, how active you are, how old you are, hormone levels, and the weather conditions (i.e., your environment).
Other factors: age, gender, percentage of water in the foods you consume, and how active you are. Oh! What about coffee (which dehydrates)? Do you drink it and how much?
All of those pieces make up the water pie, if you will. Ultimately, you must decide what’s right for you based on how you feel.
But here’s my major (blunt) suggestion on the amount of water you should drink on the daily…
Use urine as a guide. Once your urine has become nearly clear – no longer dark yellow or even light yellow – you’re consuming enough water.
Assignment of the day: Check out my podcast, Dehydration & Weight Gain on The Chalene Show. I’m able to go into far more detail on the matter at hand, plus share my very own personal water journey. Hey, if I can go from a lifetime diet of NO water & extra large diet coke to becoming a full on water hydration beast… YOU CAN, TOO! Listen NOW!
2nd assignment of the day: Start your day off with water. First thing in the morning before all things. Well, you can make your bed first.
3rd assignment of the day: I created your 131 Hydration System for the very reason only 3 out of 4 of you are hitting your required daily water intake! It serves as the trigger you need to ensure you’re drinking all the water you need, plus… they’re cute and practical! Pick up your new set TODAY!
There’s nothing you can do that is more powerful than making decisions that allow you to become healthy from the inside out. You should be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you.