As creatures made up of approximately 70% water, humans need to drink water regularly.
Good hydration helps with nearly all of our bodily functions, such as:
And when we’re well-hydrated, we simply feel better–and that puts us into a better mood.
Most of us have heard the recommendation to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (a total of 64 ounces). The Institute of Medicine recommends drinking more than that: 74 ounces per day for women and 101 ounces per day for men.
In practice, the optimal amount of water that your body needs each day depends on your individual body. You can confirm that you’re getting an optimal amount of water intake when you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is clear or very pale yellow.
But even if you set an intention to drink more water, it’s easy to get carried away by your busy schedule and forget. You may think you’re drinking more water than you actually are.
1) Fill a jug and keep it nearby.
The easiest way to track your daily water intake is to fill a big jug with the total amount of water that you intend to drink before bedtime. Then drink it! Of course, this may not be practical for you, since it would require dipping into a biiiig jug. A smaller bottle works fine–but the bigger the better. Then you won’t have to remember to refill it 3-4 times per day, which can become a barrier to reaching your goal.
2) Get a water bottle that you love.
When you’re traveling, commuting, or otherwise out and about, it can be harder to find water sources–and buying bottled water can be expensive and wasteful. When you love your water bottle, you’ll be more excited to pack it, reach for it, and refill it. Consider the shape, size, color, and texture when choosing a bottle–and pay attention to how many ounces it holds. Then don’t leave home without it!
3) Make hydration part of your micro-breaks.
If you’re sitting at a desk throughout much of your work day, consider planning regular micro-breaks to do something active every hour or two, like the Brügger’s stretch and a quick walk to the kitchen to fill your water bottle. Put your micro-breaks on your calendar so you get automatic reminders. Your body will benefit from the increase in activity–and the increased hydration.
4) Use a straw.
We want to make your water as accessible as possible–and sometimes even the cap on your water bottle can stand in the way (like if you’ve got a baby on one arm and have only one hand free). If you have a straw ready to go, you just grab it and drink. Plus, you’ll actually be able to down the water faster with a straw than without one.
5) Track with an app.
If you want to go the extra mile by logging your daily intake and creating reminders, consider using an app, many of which are free and available on your smartphone! (Find the Best Hydration Apps of 2020 here.) Most fitness devices (like Fitbit) also have a built-in tracker, so you may find that you have one already.
As you implement these strategies, you’ll gradually develop better hydration habits–and you should see some improvement in terms of how your body feels.
Hats off to you for prioritizing your overall health and best of luck on your hydration goals!
And feel free to get in touch with Dr. David Nygaard to find out how to further customize your hydration strategies for your individual situation.
Contact us today to learn about Atlas Brain and Body and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700
Dr. David Nygaard, MS, MBA
Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist
Atlas Brain and Body
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