If you feel thirsty, your body could be already on its way to mild dehydration. Thirst is a sign that your body’s water output is greater than its input…and mild dehydration can drain you of your energy and make you feel tired.
Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Every system in your body depends on it. When the water supply in your body is low, the cells begin to pull water from the blood stream, forcing organs to work harder. Water flushes toxins out of the vital organs, such as your kidneys. It also carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment to your ears, nose, and throat. It keeps your body’s temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and protects the spinal cord and other tissues. Your body loses water every day so…in order for it to function properly, you must replenish its water supply efficiently.
Water can also help with weight loss (or maintaining your weight). Dehydration slows down the fat burning process. Some doctors even report that a 1% drop in dehydration can cause a significant decline in our metabolisms. Also, water is a natural laxative and it could help you to feel full sooner, therefore eating less.
How much water is needed varies from person to person. Eight ounces of water eight times a day is a rule of thumb but only because the 8 x 8 rule is easy to remember. How much you need depends on how active you are. If you exercise frequently (and hopefully you do), then you need more. It also depends on the climate you live in. Hot and humid climates require more (even a heated home). Other factors that impact your water intake are your health status and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s good to check with your physician to determine the amount of water that’s right for you.
If you don’t know whether or not you are drinking enough water…chances are you’re not. It’s time to begin rethinking what you’re drinking by:
- Having water with every snack and meal
- Eating more fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, watermelon and cucumbers…20% of your water intake often come from food
- Keeping a bottle in your car, at your desk, by your bed, and in your purse or bag
- Choosing water instead of juice and other sugary drinks, particularly soda…subbing water for one 12 ounce soda can save you 140 calories – many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake
- Ordering water as your beverage when dining out (it will save you calories and money)