By: Kym and Callie Burke

Most of us are aware that water is an essential nutrient to our survival. But, did you know that…

  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
  • Water helps convert food into energy
  • Water regulates body temperature
  • 80% of the brain is made up of water
  • 75% of the muscles are made up of water
  • 92% of the blood is made up of water.

Clearly our bodies will not function well without proper hydration. As a matter of fact, as little as 2% dehydration can reduce your ability to work. Being dehydrated by 4% can result in headaches, lethargy and other mental symptoms.[1] These are some of the short term effects of dehydration. Kidney and urinary tract infections, constipation, continence problems, and kidney stones are some of the potential long term and obviously more serious effects of dehydration.

So how much water do you need to drink to help manage your weight, make exercise more enjoyable, and leave you feeling energized?

The minimum water intake per day for adults is determined by dividing your weight in pounds by two (ex. 150 lbs = 75 oz). You should drink water throughout the day. Remember, if you feel thirsty (just 1% dehydration results in thirst) you are already dehydrated. Below are a few tips to ensure you are getting enough water per day:

  • Set out the number of bottles or glasses you need to drink for the entire day. If there are still bottles or glasses left on the counter at the end of the day, you know you have to be more proactive.
  • Drink a glass of water before having coffee or tea in the morning.
  • Have water with you as you eat a meal. Finish the water before finishing the meal (it might even help you eat smaller portions!).
  • Put your water in a visible place such as your desk or car cup holder. If it’s out of sight, it’s probably out of mind.

With the warmer temperatures of summer right around the corner, it is a good time to assess your hydration strategy. With a little planning, you can be guaranteed to get enough of this most important nutrient.