Do you need a drink (of water)?
Do you have dry mouth? How about headaches or dizziness? What about fatigue? These are all signs of being dehydrated.
What color is your pee? If it is amber you aren’t drinking enough water.
How much water do you need?
So, how much water should you drink? There have been several studies over the years and the answer is a resounding “it depends.”
It depends on your gender.
It depends if you are nursing.
It depends on how hot the climate is.
It depends if you are ill.
It depends if you are exercising.
For an average, healthy adult, living in a temperate climate the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- 15 cups for men.
- 11 cups for women.
A good sign of whether you are drinking enough is if your pee is light yellow.
How can I drink more water?
How can you drink more water? Make it a habit! Drink a glass of water at the same time or in the same place every day.
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Leave it on your bedside table as a reminder. We often wake up dehydrated so it will make you feel better.
- Drink a glass of water after you have your shower in the morning. Keep a glass in the bathroom.
- Whenever you make yourself a cup of coffee also grab a glass of water and drink it. Keep your coffee cups and water glasses in the same cupboard.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat. Make it a habit to drink a small glass before you take a bite. We sometime confuse hunger with thirst so you may even eat less.
- Have a glass of water before you go to bed at night. Our bodies get dehydrated when we sleep so this will help.
- Get a big water bottle and mark it with “cup” or “time” goals.
- Set an hourly timer on your phone to remind you to drink some water.
Drinking water is a keystone habit. People who drink more water tend to eat more healthy fruit and vegetables. People who drink more water also tend to eat less because they don’t confuse thirst with hunger. They also are more alert and are less likely to get headaches. These are all good reasons to make drinking more water a habit. Pick one of the suggestions above and try it.