Water is crucial for life — so much so, that many of us have water-tracking apps on our phones and smartwatches. Big water jugs keep trending and we hear over and over again from health experts and sports enthusiasts alike, that we should be drinking more of it!
But how much water should we really be drinking?
We’ve all heard we should aim for about 8 cups of water a day. However, with many factors at play impacting our hydration, there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of getting enough water, and help you figure out how much you need to stay properly hydrated.
Why water is so important
You’ve heard that the human body is mostly made up of water, more specifically, our bodies are about 60% water!
So what is that water doing? It’s carrying out some very important jobs, including:
- Regulating your body temperature
- Protecting and cushioning your joints and organs
- Carrying important nutrients to every cell in your body
- Flushing out waste
Because water is crucial for so many different things, dehydration can become dangerous very quickly. When you’re dehydrated, your body is losing more water and electrolytes than it is taking in. Dehydration can manifest as mild symptoms, like headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps, but it can also lead to serious complications like seizures, shock, or kidney failure. Under extreme circumstances, it can even be fatal.
Calculating your basic water needs
In general, healthy women should aim for about 9 cups (72 ounces) of water per day, while healthy men should try to drink about 13 cups (104 ounces), according to the National Academy of Medicine. However, as we’ve already mentioned, your individual needs can vary depending on factors like height, weight, age and physical activity levels.
For a more accurate way to determine your optimal daily water needs, use this simple calculation!
Take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two, this number will give you the baseline amount of water (in ounces) that you should be aiming for each day.
For example, say you are a healthy adult that weighs 150 pounds:
- Divide 150 pounds by 2, which gives you 75.
- This means you should aim for at least 75 ounces of water per day.
- One cup equals 8 ounces. So to find the number of cups you should drink, divide 75 by 8 to equal roughly 9 ½ cups of water per day.
Remember, this is just a baseline — in other words, this is the amount of water you should be drinking if you aren’t physically active or in a hot climate.
So if you’re going to be exercising and/or sweating, you’ll need to drink more than this to stay properly hydrated. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that athletes drink about 14-20 ounces of fluids about 30 minutes before they exercise, then another 12-16 ounces every 5-15 minutes during their workout.
More tips for staying hydrated
Add electrolyte water to your hydration routine.
When you’re sweating (for example, if you’re exercising hard or are in a hot environment), you aren’t just losing water, you’re also losing electrolytes. Electrolytes are a group of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium that are responsible for helping your muscles work, including your heart. Therefore, becoming dehydrated can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue and in extreme cases impact your heart and other organs.
So it’s a great idea to replace both water and electrolytes! Electrolyte waters like Nirvana Super™ Water and Nirvana Spring Water are infused with vitamins, minerals and HMB, which will help keep your muscles healthy and your body hydrated
Keep a water bottle on hand at all times.
One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to always have water on hand! Carrying a water bottle that holds at least 25 ounces of water, can serve as a regular reminder to drink your water no matter where you are.
Check in with your body.
Your body will often show you signs of dehydration, so it’s important to pay attention during the day. An easy way to gauge how hydrated you are is to look at your urine. If you’re properly hydrated, your urine should be fairly clear. However, dark or cloudy urine indicates that you should be drinking more water. Other ways to tell that you need more water include paying attention to dry skin or lips. You may also need more water if you’re dealing with fatigue or headaches.
Eat hydrating foods.
Water alone isn’t the only way to stay hydrated — you can also increase your liquid intake by choosing the right foods! Many fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts of water, so incorporating these into your diet can help contribute to your overall hydration status. Some of the best water-rich foods include: cucumbers, watermelon, celery, tomatoes, berries, cantaloupe, oranges, and grapefruit.
Water is life, because it helps operate so many systems in your body, so the right daily intake of water is essential. Aim for half your body weight in ounces and do something even better for your body by including Nirvana Super™ waters, seltzers and shots as part of your hydration routine!
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Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-in-bedroom-by-window-and-drinking-water-from-carafe-6766633/