It’s that time again. The new year has all of us thinking about fresh starts and new healthy habits. Last year we provided some tips on how to stay on track with some common resolutions. This year, we want to encourage you to drink more water.
Why does my body need water?
Your body is 60% water. It’s critical to your health and overall biological function. Your body uses water in various ways, including:
• Regulates body temperature
• Transports nutrients in your bloodstream
• Flushes waste out of your body
• Acts as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord
• Lubricates joints
• Forms saliva
• Supports cell regeneration
Without water, your body fails to function, resulting in illness and eventually death.
How much water does the body need?
Everyone has unique needs regarding the precise amount of water needed every day. Factors like weight, body composition, and environment. Generally speaking, men require approximately three liters of water, and women need 2.2 liters of water every day. If that sounds like a lot, it is. The good news is that you don’t have to drink that much water every day — your body also absorbs water from the food you consume.
You’ve heard the suggestion to drink eight glasses of water a day. This is an easy-to-remember general rule that works for most people. However, if you exercise vigorously, are pregnant, or have a health condition such as diabetes, you may need more water to stay fully hydrated. Warm and dry environments can also impact your body’s water needs. So whether you’re coping with dry winter weather and centralized heat or the dog days of summer, make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
How do I know if I’m drinking enough water?
Thirst is one of the most well-known signs of needing water. Other signs that your body needs fluids include:
• Dark urine
• Dry mouth, lips, or eyes
• Cool, dry skin
• Muscle cramps
• Infrequent urination
Severe dehydration can cause confusion or make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. It can also increase your heartbeat or respiration and lead to fainting.
Top tips for drinking more water
If the idea of gulping down glass after glass of water isn’t appealing, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you don’t need to consume all the fluids your body needs in one sitting. Instead, you can drink throughout the day.
Set a goal
Some people are motivated by goals and achievements. For example, you could set a goal to drink a glass of water every hour or have a glass of water before every meal.
You can use the alarm or reminder feature on your smartphone to remind you to visit the water cooler and fill up your glass.
Replace other drinks with water
If you drink coffee, soda, or other high-sugar or caffeinated beverages, you could swap them for water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases how quickly your body removes water. You can infuse your water with fruit or mint to add flavor.
Keep a refillable bottle with you.
These days, it’s almost strange to see someone without a fancy water bottle. Not only does carrying a reusable bottle allow you to take a sip at any time, but it also reduces waste and is environmentally friendly.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Overhydration can happen, although it is rare in healthy people. This is because when you consume too much water, it interferes with electrolytes and sodium levels in your body. However, most of the time, overhydration is due to other health issues such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and kidney problems. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also make your body retain water.
Get your new year off to a healthy start.
Here at Urology of Greater Atlanta, our team wishes you and your family a happy and healthy new year. Taking care of your body by drinking enough water, eating nutritious foods, and getting exercise every day is a great start. Contact us today if you’re looking for expert health care and advice.