It’s important to stay hydrated, and learning how much water you should drink a day is important for your health. The answer isn’t the same for everyone. Some people need more water than others. For example, people with kidney problems or who have other health complaints should pay extra attention to and increase their water intake. Athletes, fitness and outdoor enthusiasts, and people who spend a lot of time in the sun should drink more water, too.
In rare cases, it is possible to drink too much and experience water toxicity. Athletes are the most at risk, so if you’re really competitive, take the time to educate yourself so you don’t drink too much at one time. When and how you get your hydration is important. Water is better than soda, and coffee and tea affect people differently. If you are drinking alcohol, it’s wise to drink extra water, too.
Keep reading to find out how much water you should be drinking so you can keep yourself feeling good and performing at your best.
Benefits of Drinking Water
There are a lot of people looking for ways to improve their health. Drinking more water is a surprisingly simple way to give yourself immediate health benefits. Water doesn’t just fight dehydration effects, it is also the original energy drink. People who have a glass of water right when they wake up in the morning report they find it easier to get up and start their day. They also report having more energy and drinking less coffee and other stimulants.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the hydration question, there are certain guidelines that everyone should follow. It’s normal to wake up mildly dehydrated, for example, and water is the best cure.
Your water intake should be adjusted to reflect your individual needs. This is determined by your activity level, where you live, your general health, your age, and your diet. In addition, people who are pregnant need more water than normal and should consult with their doctor about how much they should be drinking.
Water can also provide many benefits beyond those of being properly hydrated. For instance, drinking water is vital for healthy skin because it improves elasticity and resilience. Proper skin hydration helps you maintain a healthy glow and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Staying hydrated is also a significant pain reliever because it reduces inflammation and helps you maintain proper levels of joint fluids. Headaches, joint pains, weakness, and dizziness are all made worse by dehydration. If you experience these symptoms, add water to your list of therapies and see if it helps.
Your digestive tract can work better if you drink more water, too. Not only does water help your enzymes and gut bacteria to work better, it can also relieve the symptoms of constipation. Drinking enough water can help relieve many of these symptoms, and, in some cases, make them go away entirely.
Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
There are many ways water can help you lose weight, and some of them may surprise you. Everyone knows that if you drink water instead of lattes, juice, or soda, you will reduce your caloric intake. A basic latte has about 180 calories, but specialty shops can increase the calories by adding lots of cream, sugar, and other additives. The more of these you replace with water, the faster you will lose weight.
When you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories. Staying hydrated keeps your body at its optimal burn rate, even if you are just sitting at your desk. In this way, replacing some of your drinks with water doesn’t just cut down on your calorie intake, it actually burns calories. Drinking water is one of the best ways to learn how to boost metabolism rates.
Developing a habit of drinking more water can also help you feel more full. When you feel hungry, it’s often a sign that you’re thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water before getting a snack and see if the desire to eat goes away.
You can and should enjoy your food and drinks, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself. Making small changes to your behavior is the easiest and most effective way to create lasting change. If you normally get a large latte in the morning, have a cup of water first and switch your order to a medium. The first sip always tastes the best, so cutting back on your portion size shouldn’t get in the way of your enjoyment.
Drinking water to lose weight is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways of improving your health. So when your stomach is growling, give it a glass of water first and go from there.
How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?
Parents will tell you it’s hard to get kids to drink water. Water benefits children in unique ways because they are growing more than adults. The easiest way to help your kids is by creating better habits. When they ask for a soda or juice, tell them they need to drink a glass of water first. You may be surprised at how receptive kids are to water, once they get going. And reminding your kids can help you remember about your own water needs, too.
Drinking enough water will help you avoid a lot of common aches, pains, and frustrations that are a part of life. Dehydration can aggravate serious health issues and make them worse by changing your blood pressure and slowing down proper organ function.
Drinking too much water is possible but is extremely rare. Water intoxication can cause your electrolytes, sodium, in particular, to become too diluted (hyponatremia), therefore causing water to shift from the outside to the inside of cells. This could cause the brain to swell, which is an event that could be life-threatening. This is a very rare circumstance that most people will never experience. It’s more common in competitive individuals who participate in sporting events and with people who don’t know how to prevent overheating the body. Keep this in mind if you play sports or live in a hot climate, but don’t worry about it too much otherwise.
Are you drinking enough water? I recommend everyone review their water intake and make a positive change. Commit to hydrating more, and start right now by enjoying a tall glass of cool, refreshing water.
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