I drink coffee in the morning (gotta wake up somehow) and tea at night (gotta fall asleep somehow), but aside from that, I am a pure water drinker. Soda? Juice? Alcohol? Nah. Water. I don’t have a problem with the others, I’m just picky.
Even though I LOVE water, I find myself struggling to drink enough of it. Or what I think is enough of it – prior to writing this, I didn’t even know how much I should be drinking. Guesstimating apparently isn’t the best method for this.
So, how much water should you be drinking? What are the benefits? (Spoiler: a lot.) How can you make sure you’re drinking enough? What products can make it fun, rather than a chore? I’ve got you covered.
What Are the Benefits of Water?
Like I said in my spoiler: there are so damn many. Be it for your beauty or your health, nothing beats water and its benefits. Let’s jump in.
When it comes to beauty, you’ll find that it affects every part of your body, from your skin to your hair to your nails. First: it makes you glow by ridding your body of toxins, and it can minimize puffiness, acne, and dry skin. It also helps improve elasticity, meaning your skin won’t age as quickly or start to sag. It also helps with healing: sunburns and blisters will be taken care of and heal quicker.
For hair: did you know that 1/4 of a strand of hair is made up of water? Yeah, me neither. So, it makes sense as to why drinking water strengthens strands and lessens hair loss (a healthy, hydrated scalp equals a happy, hairy scalp). And when it comes to nails, being hydrated will reduce tears and breakage by strengthening nails and cuticles.
When it comes to your health, I can’t count the ways it’s beneficial. 60% of our body is water, meaning plenty of processes are reliant on good hydration. Need examples? Here are a few: the cartilage in your joints need water to maintain their shock-absorption; blood is 90% water and carries oxygen throughout your body; and dehydration can lead to all sorts of bowel problems and even kidney stones.
How Much Should You Be Drinking?
You’ve probably heard of the 8-glasses-of-water-per-day rule, but that isn’t accurate. If you’re not drinking any, it’s a good place to start. If you’re drinking too much – yep, that’s a thing – reducing can be helpful.
In general, though, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink a bit over nine 8-oz. cups. The measurement changes if you’re pregnant – you should get 10 cups – and breastfeeding women should drink 13.
If you’re exercising, you’ll need to drink extra to replenish. Add an average of two cups each day if you work out for longer than an hour. And if you’re sick, you’ll need extra hydration then, too.
How Can I Drink More Water?
If you’re not a huge fan of drinking water, there are ways to get the hydration you need. Begin by watering down your favorite drinks, like unsweetened iced tea or juice. By slowly minimizing the taste, water won’t come as a shock.
You can also try buying a water bottle that allows you to infuse water with a taste you like, such as fruit or mint. Here are some of our favorite infused water bottles:
Drinking nine cups of water is important, but it can be difficult to guess how much you’re consuming.
There are a bunch of water bottles out there that can measure how much you need for the rest of the day, and you can use hair ties or rubber bands around the water bottle each time you refill. These timed water bottles help keep track of how much you drink so you don’t have to guess:
Are you drinking enough water? Have any tips on getting enough? Let us know in the comments!
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