Why Staying Hydrated is Important – Plus 7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water
Proper hydration is essential to our health and well being. Yet, many of us only focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, spending more hours in the gym, getting adequate sleep, etc.
As simple as it sounds, drinking more water can go a long way for a healthier day-to-day life. After all, everything in your body depends on optimal hydration – from organ function to hormone balance.
When you’re hydrated, you feel healthier and more energized, your skin looks more nourished and radiant, and the list goes on. And when you’re not? You can experience many problems in the body, from fatigue and poor brain function to weakened digestion. And that’s probably the last thing you want to happen.
As our lives get busier and more demanding, it becomes even more challenging to stay on top of our water-consumption game throughout the day. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be sharing some easy ways to help you drink more water and stay hydrated. But before we delve into that, let’s explain dehydration and why it is terrible for your health.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition that occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in. Hence, your body doesn’t contain enough water to perform its normal functions. Of course, the degree of dehydration you experience can vary, depending on how much fluid your body is missing.
Anyone can become dehydrated, but usually, children are the most susceptible – especially babies and young children. After all, they likely can’t tell you when they’re thirsty or get water independently. It’s no wonder research shows that up to 25 percent of kids ages six to 19 don’t drink any water as part of their fluid intake, leaving them mildly hydrated.
Older folks, sick people, and those with chronic diseases are also at high risk – not to mention athletes and people who are active outdoors in hot and humid weather. When you sweat in humid weather, it doesn’t evaporate as quickly as it does in warmer weather. That’s because the moist air cannot hold a lot more water molecules. At the same time, your body uses up a lot of its water to create and release all the sweat that helps cool you down. That means, if the sweat isn’t evaporating, you’re not cooling off, and you’re becoming more dehydrated. Sometimes you’re not even aware that you’re experiencing dehydration. That’s why it’s vital to know the causes and signs of dehydration, so you can do what’s necessary to stay hydrated.
Causes of Dehydration
Dehydration can occur for various reasons, even simple ones like not drinking enough water because you’re busy or sick or lack access to clean drinking water when traveling, hiking, or camping.
Several other things that can lead to dehydration include:
- Illnesses that cause continuous vomiting or diarrhea can result in dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to a tremendous loss of water and electrolytes from your body in a short time.If you have vomiting, as well as diarrhea, you lose even more fluids and minerals, which, if not replaced, can lead to severe dehydration.
- When you have a fever, your body loses fluids through your skin’s surface in an attempt to lower your temperature. But often, fevers can cause you to sweat so much that you end up severely dehydrated (if you don’t replenish). Typically, the higher your fever, the more dehydrated you may become. The problem compounds if you already have diarrhea.
- Increased urination. Urination is the body’s natural way of releasing toxins from your body. Increased urination can be a result of cold weather, chemical imbalances, undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, and of course, dehydration. Also, certain medications, such as diuretics and some blood pressure medications, can lead to dehydration, typically because they cause you to urinate more. So, if you don’t replace fluids lost through excessive urination, you risk getting dehydrated.
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Sweating is a vital part of your body’s natural cooling process. When your body gets hot, your sweat glands activate to release moisture from your body to cool it off and balance your electrolyte levels. Of course, this process consumes a lot of water, especially if you’re an athlete or someone who works outdoors in excessive amounts of heat (welders, mechanics, landscapers, construction workers, etc.) or engages in intense exercise. If you do vigorous activity and don’t replace fluids along the way, it’s incredibly easy to become dehydrated. Hot, humid weather increases the amount of sweat your body produces and the amount of liquid you lose.
Signs of Dehydration: How to tell if you are or might be dehydrated
Now that you know some common causes of dehydration, we’ll now discuss some dehydration symptoms. These symptoms differ, depending on whether the condition is mild or severe or by age. They may even appear before total dehydration takes place.
Here are some mild to moderate dehydration symptoms:
- Extreme thirst
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth, lips, eyes, and skin
- Headache, dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored, strong-smelling urine
- Lack of energy (weakness), sleepiness, irritability
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
So, How Much Should You Drink Every Day to Stay Hydrated?
Our bodies continuously lose water throughout the day, mostly through urine, sweat, and regular body functions like breathing. To prevent dehydration, you need to get plenty of water every day. But how much should you drink to stay hydrated?
There are many different opinions regarding how much water you should be drinking every day to stay hydrated. Ask almost any health expert, and they’ll advise you to drink no less than eight 8-ounce cups (or about two liters or half a gallon) of water per day.
However, studies show that you don’t need to drink the recommended eight cups. Your daily water intake depends on your diet, sex, metabolism, weight, activity level, overall health, the weather, humidity, and other factors.
Typically, the people who should be drinking more water are athletes, consistently active individuals, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and anyone who is feeling sick. But according to the Mayo Clinic, adult men should drink 15.5 cups a day, and adult women should be drinking 11.5 cups for the same period – depending on the factors above.
As for children, their recommended daily intake also depends on said factors. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it should amount to:
|Gender||Age Range||Recommended Daily Intake|
|Both||1 to 3 years||~5 cups|
|Both||4 to 8 years||7 cups|
|Girls||9 to 13 years||9 cups|
|Boys||9 to 13 years||10 cups|
|Girls||14 to 18 years||10 cups|
|Boys||14 to 18 years||14 cups|
Benefits of Daily Hydration
- Promotes cardiovascular health: Your heart is a big muscle that works tirelessly to ensure you get adequate oxygen to all your cells. However, without enough water in the body to support its 24/7 operation, it can become overworked. Dehydration lowers your blood volume, which causes the heart to work harder and faster to pump blood containing oxygen to all parts of your body. An overworked and exhausted heart is prone to attacks, strokes, and other life-threatening heart conditions. Luckily, drinking ample amounts of water every day decreases our chances of such heart problems.
- Cleanses your body: Every day, toxins from food, beverages, air, and other environmental contaminants, enter the body. These toxins can cause physical imbalances, diseases, and other disruptions, which make your body feel fatigued and weighed down. Drinking water cleanses your body by helping organs like your kidneys filter waste from your body. The more water you drink, the more toxins your body releases. This, in turn, makes you feel more energized and refreshed.
- Increases energy and brain function: Hydration plays a crucial role in how well your brain functions. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that drinking water may enhance brainpower. The study participants performed better and faster on a series of cognitive tasks after drinking water than those who did not. Separate studies have also concluded that mild dehydration can cause mood, lack of concentration, memory issues, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, and brain performance issues for people of all ages. Since you lose water through everyday activities, you must stay hydrated to reduce your risk of these problems.
- Maximizes physical performance: Staying hydrated also means your body has enough fluids to maximize your physical performance, whether it’s sports, exercise, or everyday activities. When your body starts to lose water, your energy levels begin to decrease, causing your physical performance to suffer. Drinking enough fluids and staying hydrated replenishes the electrolytes in your body, so you have more energy to power through whatever physical activity you’re engaging in. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.
- Lubricates joints and helps muscles function correctly: If you’ve ever experienced joint pains or muscle cramps, you know how uncomfortable and painful they can be. Usually, the cause of your discomfort is dehydration. You see, the cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joint’s shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain. Also, keep in mind that muscles consume oxygen to produce energy. Therefore, with proper hydration, your heart can efficiently pump blood (containing oxygen) to your muscles, causing them to function better.
- Treats ailments: When you have various infections and illnesses, it’s vital to stay hydrated. The body works hard to fight off viruses and bacteria, so drinking enough liquids can replenish the energy lost and help you recover faster. Hydration helps combat common health issues, such as headaches, kidney stones, colds, flu, seizures, etc.
- Boosts skin health and beauty: When you are dehydrated, the skin becomes more vulnerable to various skin disorders, wrinkling, and fine lines. Thankfully, proper hydration helps to prevent this. Once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys chime in and excrete excess fluids and toxins from your body, cleansing your skin and keeping it looking good. Proper hydration also helps lock in moisture in the skin.
- Aids digestion: Water helps your body to absorb and digest food from your digestive system. It also keeps the food you eat moving along through your intestines and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible.
- Maintains blood pressure: A shortage of water in the body can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure. When you’re dehydrated, your blood volume may decrease, possibly leading to a drop in blood pressure. When your blood pressure drops too low, your organs won’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. You could potentially go into shock. Drinking ample amounts of water every day can help avoid these undesirable and potentially fatal situations.
- Prevents kidney damage: As you probably know, the kidneys do a fantastic job regulating fluid in the body. However, insufficient water in the body can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
- Promotes weight loss: Believe it or not, water can also help with weight loss – if consumed instead of sweetened beverages. Also, drinking water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
- Improves mood: Proper daily hydration helps normalize body and brain functions, enhancing your mood and ability to concentrate.
7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water
Drinking more water every day isn’t as simple as it may seem. Considering that water is a flavorless liquid that doesn’t excite the tastebuds like sodas and other sweetened beverages, you can understand why. Plus, it can be challenging to consume the right amount of water you need every day to stay hydrated with your busy schedules. Thankfully, we’ve come up with a few simple and creative ways to help you drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day – and hopefully, make it a daily habit.
- Ditch the soda or juice: Reaching for soda or fruit juice when you’re thirsty might seem like a harmless way to hydrate. However, these beverages do more harm than good. Sure, they’re flavorful and tasty, but in addition to harming your health and your teeth, they only end up making you thirstier. Sodas and juices are high in sugar, like fructose and glucose, which can contribute to tooth decay and inhibit the body from absorbing the water it needs. High sugar levels in these drinks can also cause the body to release hormones to lower it. However, the body often releases too much, leading to crashes that make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry. If you need that flavored or fizzy liquid, try drinking flavored sparkling water or mineral water. If it’s the caffeine you’re after, make the healthy switch to tea.
- Keep a reusable water bottle handy: When it comes to consistent hydration, there’s no more foolproof strategy than a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are best kept everywhere – in the living room, at the bedside, in the gym bag, handbag – to act as a visual reminder to drink up. A nice-looking, extra-large vessel on your desk, filled up each morning and consumed throughout the workday, can be a practical way to maintain your water intake, especially when you’re out and about for the day. You’re likely to drink more water when it’s right next to you.
- Eat water-rich foods: If you’re not fond of gulping down excessive liquids each day, why not turn to water-rich snacks? Remember that around 20 percent of your daily fluid intake comes from the food you eat. Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, and celery are foods all made up of more than 90 percent water. Apart from increasing your water intake, some of these foods also contain vitamins, nutrients, electrolytes, and fiber to keep the body refreshed and skin glowing. But before eating or cooking any of these delicious, healthy foods, we advise using filtered water when cleaning and cooking. We’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.
- Add a burst of flavor: Sometimes, drinking plain water can be boring. To solve this, add some fruits to your water for a burst of flavor. Not only are you getting the benefits from the water, but the fruits are rich in antioxidants that may help flush toxins from your body. They may also aid in muscle fatigue, boost your metabolism, and fill up your stomach, so you’re less likely to snack.
- Set water goals, create a routine, and track your daily water intake: Another excellent way to ensure you drink enough water throughout the day is to set clear water goals and track every ounce of water you drink. Scheduling your water intake, like two glasses at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is an easy way to know you’re getting enough water. You can also set reminders or alarms on your phone, post a sticky note reminder on your desk, or draw lines on your water bottle with hours to drink water throughout the day.
- Reward yourself: Forming good water habits can be draining. But when we reward ourselves for doing so, it’s easier to stay on track and achieve our goals quicker. It’s also a useful motivation tool. With that in mind, once you’ve set your water intake goal, tracked it, and achieved it, reward yourself! Your body will thank you. The reward doesn’t even have to be extravagant. Just make sure it’s something that will encourage you to drink more water.
How to Ensure Your Drinking Water Is Safe for Proper Hydration
Drinking adequate water and staying hydrated is healthy for your body. However, it’s best to drink the best-quality tap water you can. Investing in a water filter, like our CF1 whole-house system or SWRO reverse osmosis (RO) filters, provide your home with healthy, great-tasting water that you can also bottle and take with you on the go.
A whole-house filter treats all the water entering your home, meaning you’ll have access to clean filtered water at your kitchen and bathroom faucets, washing machine and dishwasher, and all other outlets in your home. Our CF1 whole house filter uses the highest-quality catalytic coconut shell carbon and KDF media to target and remove harmful contaminants like chlorine, chloramine, PFOA, PFAS, PFOS, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, haloacetic acids, and many more. There’s also the UV Water Purification System add-on that’s proven to control microbiological issues in water, including E. coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia lamblia. Our UV system kills 99.9 percent of harmful pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, to remove foul odors and taste and protect you and your family from diseases, infections, and other adverse health conditions.
But if you need a solution that removes water at specific outlets in your home, our SWRO RO filters are the perfect fit. These RO systems remove all unwanted impurities in water, like fluoride, mercury, and chlorine, leaving you with clean, healthy water. Both filtering systems are small and compact enough to fit under the average size sink, delivering up to 75 gallons of superior-quality drinking water per day for optimal hydration.
To learn more about what water filter best fits your needs, see our guide here.
Staying hydrated every day is key to a long and healthy life. Drinking enough water every day helps cleanse your body, promote weight loss, maximize physical performance, boost skin and beauty, and many more. However, to realize these incredible benefits, you need to follow the tips provided in this article and filter your tap water before drinking it. Here’s to a healthier and more hydrated future! Cheers!