What is the most common beverage in the world? Not surprisingly, it’s water. Mainly because we all need it. But there are other reasons.
In 2017, bottled water moved past soft drinks as the top selling beverage in the United States.
In fact, Beverage Marketing Corporation declared that the purchasing of bottled water rose 7 percent over the previous year. Its acclaim has increased since then.
And that doesn’t even include all the water consumed from faucets in homes, schools and restaurants.
Hydration Has Many Helpful Perks
Why has water been gaining fame over the past few years? For one thing, it’s viewed as healthy.
Staying hydrated is connected with a wide variety of positive things. Including healthy skin, concentration, attitude, energy, hunger reduction, and physical and mental performance.
Plus it lubricates joints, aids kidneys and regulates body temperature. We see people carrying water bottles almost everywhere they go these days. Some of those bottles don’t come cheap, either.. Especially considering the affordability of water..
Some folks have made it one of their New Year’s resolutions to drink more water in 2020. They even keep track of their consumption in journals or with mobile apps.
Is 8 Glasses a Day Enough?
If we accept the statement that we should drink more water, how do we know what’s enough? And what might be too much?
Through the decades, the standard recommendation has been eight glasses per day. That’s the amount the medical community has deemed appropriate for the average person.
But water needs vary greatly from person to person. Those who weigh more need more water.
Those who lose more water than others due to perspiration brought on by exercise obviously need more. As well as those who live in warmer climates.
Keep Track If You’re Aging
Most people don’t count the number of glasses of water they drink each day. They drink when they’re thirsty. And they don’t drink when they’re not thirsty.
Assuming their urine is fairly clear and they supplement drinking water with eating moisture-rich food, the average person should be good to go.
Generally speaking, that strategy works for most people. Although it should be noted that as people age, they’re often not as aware of thirst as they used to be.
Regardless of the trendiness of water drinking, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of it.
Every Body System Depends on H2O
Dr. Lawrence Armstrong is a professor of exercise and environmental physiology. He works at the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut.
He says nearly every system in the body relies on water. It protects and hydrates our organs. And transports nutrients to our cells.
It balances our electrolyte levels (such as sodium and potassium) to help keep muscles functioning properly.
Water also keeps us energized and mentally sharp. Dehydration, on the other hand, messes with our systems and causes all sorts of problems.
Determining How Much to Drink
So, again, how do we know how much water we should drink? Dr. Armstrong gives this suggestion.
For one week, drink water until you’re not thirsty any more and your urine is clear or a light color.
Then, weigh yourself each morning for a week right after urinating. Take the average of the three most similar numbers to determine your baseline weight when properly hydrated.
Then, weigh yourself in the morning. If you’re a pound lighter than your baseline weight, drink an extra 16 ounces of water that day.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Is it possible to drink too much water? Of course. Too much of anything is not a good thing.
In fact, consuming an excessive amount of water can cause hyponatremia. That’s when sodium levels in the blood drop too low.
And brain cells and tissue become bloated. That can lead to nausea and confusion. As well as seizures, coma and even death.
Even if you don’t suffer a health problem from drinking too much water, you’ll spend too much time in the bathroom.
Adding to the Taste
What if you don’t like the taste of water? Water is mostly tasteless, but some people dislike it enough to mostly avoid it.
If that’s your issue, add fruit slices to a pitcher of water and refrigerate it. Such as lemons or limes.
Another option is filling an ice tray with coconut water. Then add a few cubes to your water glass several times a day for a different kind of taste.
Still another way to get past this is by drinking unsweetened flavored water. Some of the flavors include ginger, watermelon, cucumber, pear and lemon.
Food Has Water Content Too
If you drink some water but not as much as you think you should, there’s another way to make up for that.
Eat more foods that contain plenty of water. You won’t even notice the H2O content, but you will be aided by it.
Among the foods that have plenty of water in them are many broths and soups, including chicken noodle. And many fruits, including apples, oranges and peaches.
Others are zucchini, lettuce, cabbage, celery and bell peppers. Plus cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, yogurt and cottage cheese.
As you can see, there’s no excuse for not drinking enough water. Even the taste is something you can fix with a good filter. My personal favorite is strong enough to get rid of all sorts of contaminants – even 90% of fluoride! You can take a look at it here. I know we can all make this a habit in 2020.