How Much Water Do I Need?

how much water do I needI hear this question a lot, “How much water do I need?”  That’s a great question, considering water makes up roughly 60% of your body.  It’s kind of important for your body to function properly.  But it can be hard to know how much you need.  Is it a one size fits all situation or does it vary for different people?  And what does water really do for you or what happens if you don’t get enough?  Those are all topics I want to cover in answering “how much water do I need?”

Water In The Body – How Much Water Do I Need?

I think most everyone knows water is essential for life, but what does water really do in the body and why is it important?  Water plays several important functions, whether you’re working out or not, you still need water.  Some of the most important things water does for your body are:

-Helps carry and remove toxins from the cells of your body

-Carries nutrients and oxygen into your cells

-Helps regulate body temperature

-Lubricates joints, which is especially important for people who exercise regularly

-Helps regulate your digestive system and avoid constipation

These are just a few of the functions that water performs in the body, but you can see how important it is!  So that’s why I take the question “how much water do I need?” seriously and want to make sure people stay hydrated.  Obviously your body needs it.

Effects of Dehydration – How Much Water Do I Need?

Since we know what water does, what does it look like when you’re dehydrated?  Extreme dehydration can put your life at risk, but I don’t think most people suffer from severe dehydration.  I’m guessing more people deal with moderate dehydration than realize it though.  So what does it look like if you’re moderately dehydrated?  You might find that you:

-Feel tired more often

-Have trouble concentrating

-Feel weak

-Have a slower metabolism

-Feel thirsty and hungry

Did you catch that last one?  When you’re dehydrated you feel hungry.  Before I started researching this I realized it.  Often times when I think I’m hungry, a large glass of water actually satisfies that hungry.  So I didn’t need to eat, I needed to hydrate myself!  So being dehydrated can be a big reason you overeat and have trouble sticking with your nutrition plan.

Next time you feel hungry outside of a normal time to eat, try drinking an 8 oz glass of water and see how you feel after it.  I think you’ll be surprised at how the water satisfies you.  Your body really wants water, but you’re sensing hunger.  If you start to snack you might not even satisfy the craving if you’re not eating something with liquid in it.

Really – How Much Water Do I Need?

So I’m finally getting to why you really wanted to read this in the first place.  How much water do you need?  Well it’s not as easy as telling you to drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water a day.  That’s a common recommendation, but it might not be enough for you.  When you think about it, it should be clear that people don’t all need the same exact amount.  If you’re working out and sweating a lot, you’ll need more water than someone who doesn’t.

So to determine if you’re drinking enough water, I think there are a few things you can consider.  I would say you’re drinking enough water if:

-You don’t feel thirsty

-Your urine is clear

You should be drinking enough water that you don’t ever really feel thirsty.  If you’re thirsty, it’s been too long since you’ve had any water.  Also a great test is to check the color of your urine.  If you’re hydrated you should pee clear.  If you’re dehydrated you’ll notice your urine is yellow/dark yellow.  So those are two great ways to monitor yourself throughout the day.  In a typical day I drink at least a gallon of water.

So hopefully this article has been helpful in answering the question of “how much water do I need?” and is a good reminder to drink your water!  If you’re struggling to lose weight, this could be the cause!  Make sure you drink up to help fight food cravings too.

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