The amount of water your body needs can change depending on your physical activity, the weather, and even your current health condition. However, a good guideline for how much water you should drink daily is to divide your weight in half. That number, in ounces, is the amount of water to consume each day. So, if you weigh 140 pounds for instance, you should drink about 70 ounces of water each day. An average glass holds around eight ounces of water, so this is equivalent to 8.75 eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Probably much more than you’re used to drinking!
Not to mention that if you have a dehydrating beverage like coffee or eat a dehydrating food such as something high in sugar, you should try to add two glasses of water to compensate for the diuretic effect. For example, if you have one eight-ounce cup of coffee, you will need to add 16 ounces of water on top of your 70 ounces for a total of 86 ounces of water for that day.
The Gradual Game
Many people have a tendency to forget to drink water throughout the day. They often then choose to chug down a glass or two late in the day to “make up for it”. This is not the best way to go about it, especially if it’s right before bed. I’m sure you are familiar with the multitude of nightly bathroom trips when you do so!
The fact of the matter is that your body cannot store water; it can only utilize about six ounces every twenty minutes. So, let’s say that you weigh 200 pounds and you drink a cup of coffee in the morning. Your daily goal will be to drink 116 ounces of water (100 ounces of water, plus 16 extra ounces to compensate for the coffee). If you sip six ounces every twenty minutes, you will be able to drink 18 ounces of water an hour. It would then take 6.5 hours to reach your desired goal. So don’t fret because it is very doable!
It’s very helpful to carry a large water bottle around with you during the day or keep one at your desk. I often recommend brands such as Contigo® which has a “press button” style model; allowing you the ease of sipping throughout the day without having to continuously screw on and off a cap.
If you’ve come to the realization that you typically don’t drink any water at all, begin by drinking three glasses of water a day until it becomes easy and natural. Then increase the amount until your urine is clear most of the time, which means that undesirable substances and other byproducts are being eliminated from the body.
Type and Taste
Many people don’t like the taste of plain water. If this is the case for you, try squeezing a fresh lemon, orange wedge, or other delectable fruit into your water to make it more palatable.
It is also a wonderful idea to get a high-quality home water filter. This not only improves the taste of regular tap water but will also filter out unwanted substances such as chlorine and fluoride. My favorite filter (which I have in my home) is a Berkey®. They are an incredibly reputable carbon filtration brand that eliminates pathogens and heavy metals while leaving in the important minerals!
Last but not least, how do you tell if you are well hydrated? Perhaps you feel as though you drink a good amount of water but you aren’t one to measure, per say. Read on to our next section for some tips!