Why you should drink more water
By Caitlyn Madore
With warmer weather on its way, take this opportunity to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated. Chances are you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day – one of the most essential nutrients for life.
Women should drink about 72 ounces of fluids a day, and men should drink about 100 ounces a day, according to the Institute of Medicine. That’s about 9 cups and 12.5 cups, respectively. While those estimates account for water and other fluids, it’s always better to choose water over sugary drinks, soda, and juices.
Why is that? Water refreshes and reinvigorates in ways that no other liquid can. “Water impacts your body’s health as a whole in many different ways,” said registered dietitian, Caitlyn Madore. “It regulates our body temperature, carries nutrients, lubricates our joints, and protects our organs. If you aren’t drinking enough, it’s harder for your body to carry out these essential tasks.”
Water and weight
Drinking enough water can also promote overall health, including weight management.
“Sometimes thirst can be mistaken as hunger,” Madore shares. “This can lead to possible weight gain when excess calories are consumed due to what your body perceives as hunger. If you’re drinking enough water, your body won’t have to determine if you’re hungry or if you’re actually just thirsty.”
Madore says drinking water with meals could also promote an earlier feeling of fullness. If you drink a glass of water before you start your meal, you will be more likely to stick to the recommended portions.
Choosing water over soda and other sweetened beverages can also cut your calories for the day.
Dehydration, or not consuming enough water, can negatively affect your health. Not staying hydrated can impair our ability to achieve optimal health, including the health of our skin. Dehydration could result in skin that is dry and more prone to wrinkling. Madore added that dehydration can also cause confusion, loss of energy, weakness, and can prevent our bodies from working at their best to fight ailments.
Tips to drink more water
If you find yourself struggling to reach for more water, here are some easy tips:
- Add your own flavor with fruit slices! Fruit slices are a natural way to add flavor to your water without adding unnecessary sugar. Try adding slices of lemon, lime, or oranges.
- Keep a glass or bottle of water nearby at your desk or in your car. You will be more likely to drink it if you are surrounded by it throughout the day.
- Think of the money you could save. It’s cheaper and better for you to order water at restaurants. Both your wallet and your body will thank you.
Caitlyn Madore is a registered dietitian and licensed dietary nutritionist at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center.