How much water do I need to drink?
Before I got my certification in nutrition, I worked with a nutrition coach. I also worked with a personal trainer at my local YMCA. They both told me I needed to get in at least a gallon of water daily. It felt impossible! Mind you, I was also still teaching at the time. And lord knows teachers don’t get many bathroom breaks!
I would stress myself trying to meet their quota. And feel badly when I didn’t. Until one day, I started thinking, “How can all of our bodies have the same exact needs? How can my husband, who is a foot taller than me and weighs about 60 pounds more than me, need the same amount of fluid daily? It doesn’t make sense”!
I kept that in mind as I tried to stay hydrated. I let go of the need to reach that “one gallon” mark every day, and instead focused on how my body felt. I didn’t let myself get thirsty and sipped water throughout the day.
It wasn’t until I got my own certification in nutrition that I learned that we really don’t all have the same needs. We don’t all need a specific amount of fluid intake daily. But it is also hugely important that we remember that our body literally cannot function without water. Our organs are made up largely of water. Our joints are lubricated by water. Our blood is oxygenated because of water. Our brain in protected by water. In fact, our body is almost 70% water!
So, what do we need? Here are some pointers:
- Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water daily. And that number is a goal, not a requirement. So, if you are a 150 lb. woman, you need to aim for getting 75 ounces of water in daily.
- Do not let yourself get thirsty. Once you feel that thirst, your body has already begun to dehydrate.
- Sip throughout the day to prevent thirst. Keep your glass or bottle of water near you.
- If you hate drinking water, find a way to make it palatable. Add sliced lemon or lime. Cut up strawberries or oranges and throw them in your glass. Add a splash of juice when you’re first getting started. Try sparkling water or seltzer.
The point is to alleviate the stress over the amount you believe is required, and instead, replace
it with paying attention to what your body needs. You don’t need a bunch of rules. Be mindful. Be intentional. Your body will tell you what it needs if you just listen.
Want more health tips? Follow us on Instagram here