By Jo Schaalman and Jules Peláez
Most people don’t drink enough water. Change this one practice, and watch everything else fall into place. Living a vibrantly healthy lifestyle is all about going back to the basics, and water is as basic as it gets.
Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD, a leading professional in water research, says, “Health care in America is in crisis because the professionals and public don’t know when the human body is thirsty. Once we understand the thirst mechanism of the body, once we understand the cries of the body for water, 60 percent of the health-care crisis will disappear.”
That’s a huge claim, but the fact of the matter is that most of us actually live a life of chronic dehydration.
Some signs that you’re not drinking enough water include:
So how much water should you drink? There’s no exact formula, so error on the side of more is better!
The easiest formula for determining how much water you should focus on consuming in a day is this:
Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces
If you’re new to hydrating like it’s your job, use the following tips to get it all in:
Start your day with 32 ounces of warm lemon water: Most of us wake up a bit dehydrated. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, you’re only adding to the problem. Try lemon water as your go-to morning beverage and not only will you hydrate, but you’ll also help flush toxins from the body, which is key to keeping your system clean.
Focus on your water goal before 3pm: Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces can seem like a lot in the beginning. Try to frontload your water intake into the first part of the day. This way, you won’t be pounding water too close to bedtime, which can lead to waking up in the middle of the night to pee.
When you feel hungry, hydrate first: Our body often confuses thirst for hunger because they can both trigger the same reaction in the brain. Not consuming enough water can actually cause you to consume too much food instead and, thus, gain weight!
Drink with a straw: This might be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but we swear by it. We love drinking room temperature water from a mason jar with a glass straw. Call us crazy but it just goes down easier, and easy is key.
Have 10 clear pees per day: This is a game we like to play in the name of good health. Count how many clear pees you have throughout the day. Aim for 10 and you’ll likely be staying on top of your water goal.
Remember when it comes to hydration, by the time we actually feel thirsty, we’re already dehydrated. So drink up because studies have linked increased water intake to improvements in chronic pain, asthma, allergic reactions, arthritis, neck and back pain, headaches, stress, depression, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
All studies aside, if you make drinking water as important as exercising and eating well, you’ll witness the change yourself.