When my mother was living with my niece, she was taken to the hospital twice. The problem: Dehydration. She wasn’t getting proper hydration. Mother has some memory issues and does not like to drink water. She was not well supervised and was left to sit on the sofa all day in front of the television. She was given a bottle of water but seldom finished it by the end of the day.
When I ask my clients how much water they drink a day, the answer is most often, “A lot. I get enough water.” After they spend a day or two measuring the water they actually drink, a majority of them are shocked at how little they really are taking in.
I am currently in a group that is working on getting enough water and developing habits to make sure that we reach our water intake goals each day. You might be surprised at how easy it can be, once you know and practice the steps.
Here are a few things to help you get there:
- Plan for at least 64 ounces of water per day. ( the pervasive rule of thumb is divide your body weight by half and go for that many ounces.)
- Drink water first thing in the morning, before any other beverage.
- Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water before breakfast.
- Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water before snacks.
- Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water before dinner.
As you can see, it is a simple process. It only takes the effort to make it a habit. And habits develop at different rates for different people.
You might be thinking, wow 64+ oz is a lot of water, how am I going to drink that much? Well, we’ve got lots of tips!✨
First, let’s talk about how much water your body actually needs.🤔 While the EXACT amount you need depends on your activity level, health conditions, height and weight, gender, and even fiber and caffeine intake, there are some general guidelines. According to the Institute of Medicine‘s recommendations:
- Men should drink 13 cups (about 3 liters) of water each day.
- Women should drink 9 cups (just over 2 liters) of water each day. Pregnant women should drink 10 cups of water daily, and breastfeeding women should drink 12 cups.
- Kids and teens should drink 6 to 8 cups of water a day.
💧 HOW HYDRATED ARE YOU?
A practical way to track your hydration level is to note the color of your urine right after you get up in the morning. Straw or lemonade-colored urine is a sign of proper hydration. Dark-colored urine—closer to the color of apple juice—indicates dehydration. Let’s see how getting more water might change the color of your pee. Don’t be shy––we’re all in this together!
One thing that helps me drink more water is having a nice water bottle that shows how much water I need to be drinking. It is also a good way to keep measurement of your intake.
If you don’t measure, you don’t really know. After a while, you will have a feel for how your hydration level is.