The recommendation is to get eight 8 oz glasses per day, we all know that. But every so often, you'll hear stories circulating that you don't need that much, that we get a lot of water from our food. Sometimes, you'll see stories about drinking a gallon or more.
There are many myths surrounding water intake, and what happens if you don't drink enough or drink too much.
Let's take a look at some of the information now and help you decide if you really do need 8 glasses of water every day.
Why Is It 8 Glasses of Water?
The general recommendation for the eight 8 oz glasses of water per day is for the average healthy person who's typically sedentary.
The recommendation does not consider a person's activity level, time of year, air conditioning or dry heat, or health conditions.
So, in certain circumstances, you do not need eight glass of water per day, but you might need more in other cases.
Your food plays a huge factor in the amount of water you need, as well. People who eat more vegetarian diets with many fruits and vegetables typically don't need to drink as much water as people who rely more on processed foods. Processed foods contain wheat and chemicals that require more water and energy to detox.
If your diet includes a higher amount of salt, wheat, or chemicals, you need a lot more water than people who eat a much cleaner diet.
Another significant factor is how people perceive hunger. If a person is not drinking enough water, the thirst reflex often gets ignored. Your body will switch over to feeling hungry just to get more water. So, it's quite possible that the snack you're craving isn't actually a desire for a snack, but for water.
What Drinking Water Does For Your Body
Water takes part in every single process in the body.
Where people most feel the sense of dehydration comes in three typical places:
- Your digestive system – acid reflux can be a sign of not enough water to digest your food properly
- Your joints – fitness and achiness are made worse by not enough water
- Your brain - brain fog, confusion, headaches and migraines, and insomnia can be a sign of not drinking enough water
Most people attribute aches and pains in their joints or headaches to stress, moving wrong, or some other external factor. They blame reflux on the food they eat or laying down.
But, what if you could get rid of this with drinking a little more water throughout the day?
What if you could get more energy, lose weight, and be healthier with just a little bit more water?
Looking at some of the research, dehydration can make problems a lot worse:
- Cholesterol Problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Thyroid Problems
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Digestive Problems – IBS, Reflux, GERD
- Muscle Spasms
- Eczema & Psoriasis
- Kidney Problems
- Liver Disease/Fatty Liver
- Gallbladder Issues
The lack of water interferes with the way the body works, it can hamper medication's ability to change things, and in some cases, can completely negate the benefits of a good diet and exercise.
Yes, water is that important.
Easy Ways To Get More Water In During The Day
Look, we know drinking water, and a lot of it, will lead you to the bathroom a lot. What goes in must inevitably come out. But, as your body adjusts to getting more water regularly, so too will your bathroom habits. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to adjust fully, but once you do, you'll be thankful it happened.
Let's look at some ways to get more water in during the day.
- Make it taste good – We have a whole article on how to flavor your water here.
- Bring it up into more manageable doses – Eight 8 oz glasses of water is only four typical plastic water bottles. If you set them out in the morning, you can make sure you drink some throughout the day.
- Use one large container – If you're not into individual water bottles, use one large refillable picture and make sure it's emptied every day.
- Set an alarm to take the drink – You can set an alarm for every hour to go take a little drink of water
- Use an app – There's several apps out there that can track how much water you're drinking during the day and let you know if you need more.
If your goal is to drink more water during the day, start with a reasonable amount. Aim for the eight glasses per day and, work your way up to close to a gallon of water per day. The changes your body will go through by having more water will help you get more energy, lose weight, and be healthier than you've ever been before.