Are YOU Drinking Enough Water? (By Dr. Madison Sangster-Newbery, ND)

Are YOU Drinking Enough Water? (By Dr. Madison Sangster-Newbery, ND)

The benefits of drinking water are endless—water consumption can impact everything from your memory and emotional state to your physical well-being and athletic performance. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water, so it’s easy to see how not drinking enough water and becoming dehydrated can lead to many negative health effects.

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

We all know we should be drinking more water, but how much is actually enough? The general rule of eight glasses a day is a good start, but fluid needs vary among individuals. Some people, like those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, require more water, whereas in certain conditions and with some medications, it's possible to take in too much water. Always talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes, and always remember to listen to your body and it’s thirst signals. Here’s a quick equation to estimate your approximate water intake needs based on your body and lifestyle:

  • Base Amount: Half of your weight (in pounds) in ounces is a good minimum amount of water to drink daily. For example, someone who weighs 200 lbs should aim for around 100 ounces (about 3 liters) a day.
  • Increased Activity: If you engage in extra physical, mental, or emotional activity—or if you’re in extreme temperatures—your body requires more water. A general rule of thumb is to increase your daily water intake by 12 ounces for each 30 minutes of increased activity.

Benefits of Drinking More Water

Here are just a few of the many benefits that can come with drinking more water:

  • Improved energy
  • Enhanced mental and physical performance
  • Better toxin and waste removal from your body
  • Healthier skin
  • Reduced headaches and dizziness
  • Improved digestion
  • Eased joint pain
  • Decreased risk of some cancers
  • Reduced risk of developing kidney stones

10 Easiest Ways to Incorporate More Water into Your Life

  1. Carry a Water Bottle: Always have a (preferably non-plastic) water bottle with you. Investing in a reusable bottle with marked measurements can help you track your intake throughout the day.
  2. Drink Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated, but be cautious about potential interactions with medications and the diuretic effect of caffeine in some teas.
  3. Eat Water-Rich Foods: Melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, and leafy greens are excellent choices.
  4. Add Natural Flavors: Infuse your water with lemon, crushed berries, cucumber, lime, or herbs like mint, ginger, and rosemary.
  5. Cut Down on Sugary Drinks: Replace sodas with alternatives like sparkling water. If you crave sweetness, dilute it with water and ice.
  6. Use Reusable Straws: Stainless steel and glass straws are widely available and can help increase your water intake.
  7. Set Drinking Times: Drink a glass of water before each meal and after every bathroom break.
  8. Morning Hydration: Keep a glass of water on your nightstand to drink first thing in the morning.
  9. Alcohol Balance: Match each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to prevent dehydration and reduce hangover severity.
  10. Use Apps and Smart Bottles: There are many apps to track your water intake and remind you to drink more. Some water bottles even glow to signal when you need to drink.

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the heat of summer. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can ensure you’re getting enough water to support your health and well-being. Drink up and enjoy a hydrated, healthy summer!

Dr. Madison Sangster-Newbery, ND