How Much Water You Should Drink Daily

Published January 30, 2019
<article> <section> <p>One question that healthy people seem to always have different answers to: <i>How much water should you be drinking?</i></p> <p>Google searches will inevitably lead you to various formulas and equations for hydration. <i>Bodyweight divided by X number of glasses.</i> Some people will tell you that if you exercise, your water intake should double or even triple. Then in the back of your mind you think about horror stories where <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">people got sick</a> from drinking too much water and think, <i>Well, that doesn’t totally make sense. </i></p> <p>And then, while you’re thinking about that, your sister says she reads a health blog that says you should only drink it when your thirsty. <i>Anyone else a little confused?</i></p> <p>The point is, the book is out on hydration; everyone knows it’s important and most people have ideas about how it should fit into their lives. But even with today’s accessibility to the internet, it can be difficult to gather the facts about drinking water.</p> <p>In this article, we’ll break down all things hydration. You’ll learn what the science says about how much water you should drink, the benefits of being hydrated, the side effects of being <i>dehydrated</i>, and how water fits into your weight loss goals and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Warrior Made</a> body transformation.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>The Importance of Drinking Water</header> <p>Let’s start from the very beginning: why do we need to drink water? What’s so important about it? And why, as someone with health- or fitness-related goals, do I need to take hydration seriously?</p> <p>At least 60 percent of our bodies are composed of water. That might be all we need to know about drinking water, especially if we’re exercising <sup>1</sup>. We’re made of it, so we need to replenish it.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="under-water-with-bubbles-0064"> </picture> <p>Water is important for a lot of bodily functions, too. Four of the big ones are flushing out toxins from your body, regulating body temperature, improving brain function, and skin health <sup>2</sup>. Simply put, our body and organs need water to function properly. Without it, important tasks that are vital for your health cannot be carried out.</p> <p>Here’s a little more information on why these four functions require a well-watered body:</p> <div class="sub-head">1. Flushing Out Toxins</div> <p>Your body uses water, sweat, urine, and bowel movements to excrete waste. And water is vital for all of those processes to be carried out.</p> <p>If you are dehydrated, your body will struggle to carry out these normal processes. This can make you sick, cause you pain, and lead to constipation. In more serious cases, a lack of water can damage your kidneys because they are unable to filter out waste through your urine.</p> <div class="sub-head">2. Regulating Body Temperature</div> <p>The truth is, humans are a pretty fragile organism. Sure, we can push ourselves very hard in <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">a workout</a> or endure challenges. But there are certain internal functions that need to be pretty precise and constant in order for us to go on living and working hard.</p> <p>And our body has a system of checks and balances in place to ensure this happens. We call this <i>homeostasis</i>.</p> <p>One of those constants is body temperature <sup>3</sup>. We’ve all had a fever (which is an elevated body temperature we use to fight off an infection) and felt how bad that experience can be. Being dehydrated can lead to similar negative experiences.</p> <p>This is because sweat, which is primarily made of water, keeps the body cool. Body temperature will actually <i>increase</i> when you are dehydrated because you are losing electrolytes. And long-term, this isn’t good for your organs, performance during a workout, or general well-being.</p> <div class="sub-head">3. Brain Function</div> <p>Proper hydration is essential for the brain and nervous system. Research shows that not drinking enough water can negatively impact focus, memory, and alertness <sup>4</sup>. What’s more is that water helps lubricate your spinal cord and tissues surrounding the brain and other joints.</p> <p><i>have we sold you yet on the benefits of a hydrated body??</i></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Improved cognitive function</a> may be one of the many benefits of being in ketosis, but you don’t want to trade one for the other.</p> <div class="sub-head">4. Skin Health</div> <p>Want to feel vibrant and have your skin reflect it? Well, drink your water then.</p> <p>As you know now, organ function is dependent on drinking adequate amounts of water. We don’t always think of skin as an organ―but it is one. In fact, it’s the largest organ in our entire body, and it’s 98 percent composed of water <sup>9</sup>.</p> <p>So whether your goal is to stay healthy or look younger, a hydrated body will significantly improve your skin’s ability to function.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Dehydration: 4 Signs and Symptoms</header> <p>Alright, so we’ve broken down some of the major components of why water is so vitally important for a healthy body. When learning something new (or updating your knowledge base), it’s always a useful exercise to look at the opposite, if only to help it stick better.</p> <p>With that, let’s look at some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Whether you currently exercise or not, here are some of the telltale signs that your body doesn’t have enough water in it:</p> <div class="sub-head">1. Thirst</div> <p>You’ve probably heard the old bit that <i>“if you’re feeling thirsty, it’s too late, because you’re already dehydrated.”</i></p> <p>Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you needed fluid, like, thirty minutes ago. Maybe longer. The point is, if you’re experiencing thirst, the best thing you can do is drink water. All of the negative things already talked about are on the horizon if you ignore the first sign and stay chronically dehydrated <sup>5</sup>.</p> <div class="sub-head">2. Dark-colored Urine</div> <p>Urine is produced in the kidneys. To avoid going down a scientific wormhole, just remember that it’s a good sign if your urine is clear or a pale yellow color <sup>6</sup>. This indicates that your tissues are well-hydrated and that there was excess fluid to excrete out of the body.</p> <p>Urine is full of chemicals. It makes sense that a darker color would indicate a heavier concentration of chemicals in the body. Dark urine may also be a sign that you have excess (and potentially dangerous) toxins or waste products in your body.</p> <div class="sub-head">3. Muscle Fatigue</div> <p>Your muscles need water to function properly. Whether you’re working a desk job or moving about throughout the day, you are losing water that needs to be replaced. Experiencing muscle cramps or fatigue (or even not feeling recovered from workouts) are signs that you are dehydrated <sup>7</sup>.</p> <div class="sub-head">4. Dizziness</div> <p>Ever gotten light-headed in the middle of an afternoon? Absent of any other issue, that’s a good sign you’re dehydrated. Your blood pressure drops when you are dehydrated and can lead to dizziness when you stand up suddenly or even from merely sitting around <sup>8</sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Hydration: Electrolytes and Minerals</header> <p>Believe it or not, it’s not just about drinking water when it comes to hydration. Our bodies require nutrients and minerals that keep us functioning properly, feeling healthy, and performing well.</p> <p>At the cellular level, minerals like potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium help us stay healthy and able to function. We call these electrolytes, which if you’ve ever seen a commercial for Gatorade, you know helps your body <sup>10</sup>. More on sports drinks in a second.</p> <p>Drinking lots of water is important, but you should also be sure you’re getting enough minerals in, through your diet or otherwise.</p> <p>Fortunately, staples of the <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">ketogenic diet</a> like leafy green vegetables can easily help you get these minerals into your body. There are even some foods that have a <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">hydrating effect</a> on your body, even if not all of them are keto-approved.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Drinking Water vs. Sports Drinks</header> <p>We’ve all seen the marketing campaigns for sports drinks. You now know some of the science behind why hydration is so important. Where, then, do sports drinks fit into the equation, especially if you’re getting after it at the gym? Or do they not fit in at all?</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="gatorade-bottles-in-a-row-0064"> </picture> <p>Sports drinks are called what they’re called because they include electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and more. As the commercials tout, they replace what you lose through sweat. While this is true, there are certainly negative side effects to many of the sports drinks on the market.</p> <p>The big one is sugar. A twenty-ounce serving of Gatorade has thirty-six grams of sugar in it, which rivals the sugar in a soda <sup>11</sup>. So while it may be replenishing what you lost through sweat, it’s also spiking your blood sugar and absolutely knocking you out of being a <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">ketogenic fat-burning machine</a>. </p> <p>Still, there may be an occasional use for sports drinks. If you’re doing a long distance race in very hot weather, it might be okay to go off keto for the day and give your body a little extra sugar to burn off. But you probably shouldn’t make them a regular part of your routine.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>If Not Sports Drinks, Then What?</header> <p>Sports drinks are not optimal for everyday life, but you still need to get electrolytes in so your cells can function properly. What else can you do?</p> <p>Well, besides eating a diet full of quality micronutrients like the ketogenic diet, you might consider adding a little bit of sea salt to a glass of water in the morning or after a workout. This will give your body some sodium and potassium that it lost during exercise or while you slept and help balance you out.</p> <p>A little pinch will do the trick―no need to gulp down ocean water. And of course you can do this with other keto-approved drinks like kefir, coffee, or tea, too.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?</header> <p>Alright, we’ve made it through the science on hydration. By now, you know you need to drink water. The consequences of dehydration are dire and aren’t conducive to living a healthy lifestyle.</p> <p>The question remains: <i>How much water should you drink?</i></p> <p>And the answer, though you won’t love it, is that it depends―mostly on your level of activity, but on other things, too. You should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, but if you exercise a ton or work a labor-intensive job, you’ll need a lot more <sup>12</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="girl-with-coffee-cup-smiling-out-window-00645"> </picture> <p>Some science says to follow the 8x8 rule: eight glasses of at least eight ounces of water per day. We won’t say this is a hard and fast rule, but drinking 64 ounces of water a day is a lot better than half of that if you aren’t keeping track. We also don’t want to go on record saying you specifically need to drink 100 or more ounces per day because that’s exactly what you need to be healthy.</p> <p>The point is, everyone is different. Common advice for healthy living that applies here is that you should try different things, find a routine, and stick to it. But above all, drink a lot of water throughout the day.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Five Hydration Guidelines</header> <ol> <li><b>Trust your body.</b> This means if you feel thirsty or your urine is dark-colored, drink some water.</li> <li><b>If you aren’t thirsty at all, don’t chug water.</b> Again, trust your body. It will tell you what it needs.</li> <li><b>If you exercise a lot or it’s hot out, drink a lot more water than you would normally.</b> Enough said.</li> <li><b>Build a routine around your hydration.</b> Whether that means drinking a glass with each meal, setting reminders on your phone, chugging a large glass when you wake up and before you have coffee or tea, or something else; try new things and find what works for you.</li> <li><b>Don’t skimp on minerals and electrolytes.</b> Whether it’s through diet or adding a pinch of sea salt to your food, don’t forget that water isn’t the only thing keeping your body happy and healthy. Make sure you get an adequate amount of minerals like potassium, sodium and more into your body―this is equally important to how much water you drink.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Hydration and Warrior Made</header> <p>Like good nutrition, exercising, loving yourself, and setting goals that excite you, drinking water is a cornerstone to living a better, healthier life. At Warrior Made, we believe that health is a lifestyle and that anyone can benefit from accountability and a community of like-minded individuals around them.</p> <p>So whether your goal this year is to eat better, hydrate yourself, or exercise more frequently, we’re in it to help you succeed. Check out more of the <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">workouts</a> and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">recipes</a> on our blog to help get you started with your own transformation. And while you’re at it, go fill up another glass of water!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">What Is the Normal Body Temperature Range?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Cognitive performance and dehydration</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">What Causes Dark Urine?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Dehydration and Symptoms of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness in Normothermic Men</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">How can dehydration cause dizziness?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Does drinking water really enhance your skin hydration?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">What Are Electrolytes?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Is Gatorade Bad for You?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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