Drink more water: you know you should, but somehow you never quite remember. Or maybe you’re just not sure how much is enough?
Skipping water does a lot more than leave you thirsty. Dehydrated cells don’t function as well, which means you feel sluggish and tired. Your ability to focus takes a nosedive, and even mild dehydration can make you feel ravenous. On top of that, you’re less able to fight off infection, and your skin looks dull and wrinkled.
Makes you think twice about forgetting your water bottle! Here's 5 easy ways to tell whether you’re drinking enough water:
- Are you hungry? It’s surprisingly hard to differentiate between hunger and thirst. In fact, studies show drinking eight ounces of water stops hunger pangs 100% of the time and can make a big difference in weight loss!1,2 The next time you have a snack attack or feel your energy crashing, reach for the water faucet first. Chances are you just need to drink more.
- Feeling tired or cranky? If you’re dragging and it’s nowhere near mealtime, think about how much water you’ve had today. Multiple studies show that even mild dehydration causes moodiness, fatigue, trouble with memory, and headaches.3,4 Ouch! If you can’t focus or find yourself snapping at people, your first step should be a glass of H2O.
- Check your skin. Skin cells that aren’t hydrated look rough and dry. If your hands feel dry minutes after applying lotion, that’s a big warning sign that you’re not drinking enough. Staying hydrated is crucial to flushing toxins from your skin, so you’re also more likely to experience breakouts when you don’t keep your water handy.5
- Check the clock. When’s the last time you answered the call of nature? A healthy adult should empty their bladder 6-7 times per day. If you’re going many hours between visits to the bathroom, then you’re not hydrated. If your urine is dark or smells strongly, that’s a warning sign that you’re in the dehydration danger zone.
- Do the math. When in doubt, us the handy water widget below! Just enter your weight, and it will calculate how many ounces of water you need to drink each day. Keep in mind that while other drinks count toward your daily fluid intake, caffeine actually causes your body to dehydrate faster, so caffeinated coffee and tea don’t help.
To find out how much water you should drink each day, just enter your weight below and click the big orange button! (Your real weight, not the one on your driver's license…) Remember, this is your minimum, and it doesn't take into account weather, exercise, or medications that may cause dehydration.
Convinced you need more H2O and looking for ways to make it tastier? Here's 10 delicious recipes for zero-calorie, low-sugar impact infused water. Remember, you need at least 4 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of a workout.
One last tip: While I advise you to drink regularly throughout your day, it’s important not to drink a large quantity during meals. That can dilute your digestive enzymes and cause issues. (To find out more, read this article.)
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