At birth, our bodies are 78% water. That percentage goes down as we get older, but even adults are around 55% to 60% water. That means that you're more than half water!
With such a high water percentage, it's clear that you need to be keeping yourself hydrated. Water is essential for most of your body's functions.
But why is it so essential? What makes drinking water so important, and how can you stay hydrated if you struggle to remember to drink throughout the day?
Let's talk about it. Read on to learn more.
Why Is Hydration Important?
We all know that water is essential, but why drink more than the bare minimum? If you don't actively feel thirsty, does extra hydration really do anything valuable for you?
While there's certainly an upper limit for how much water you should drink (and how much will be helpful), there are plenty of reasons that you should be striving to stay as hydrated as possible. Here are a few benefits of increasing your water intake and staying hydrated.
Weight Management and Digestion
Water is essential for your digestion. It can ease or prevent bloating, heartburn, and more. It will also keep you more "regular."
When you drink enough water, you'll feel fuller between meals. This isn't to say that water should replace meals. When you're feeling peckish but you know you've already been fed, drink a glass of water and see if you're still hungry.
It's possible that your stomach is feeling upset due to poor digestion or that your body just knows it's thirsty, but it feels like hunger.
If you're still hungry afterward, of course, you should eat! If not, you'll realize that it was actually thirst, and you have a new helpful weight management strategy.
Brain Performance and Energy
Do you ever feel sluggish and sleepy even after a full night of sleep and a cup of coffee? Dehydration might be part of your problem!
A lack of hydration can impact memory, concentration, mood, and more. Do you ever find yourself getting irritable for no conceivable reason? You may just be dehydrated!
Your brain needs water in order to wake up and function. Before grabbing another cup of coffee, see if a glass of water helps.
Kidney Stone Prevention
Kidney stones are incredibly painful. Anyone who's ever had one can tell you that it's not an experience they'd like to re-live.
While kidney stones aren't 100% preventable, drinking more water may help you avoid them.
Kidney stones happen when minerals in your body crystalize and clump together. When you drink water, you dilute those minerals and flush them out before they can clump up.
Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated
So with all of this in mind, how can you actually stay hydrated? For many people who aren't in the habit of drinking enough, it takes effort to make a change.
Eventually, staying hydrated will feel normal. You'll recognize your thirst signals and you won't have to think twice about it. Until then, here are a few ways that you can drink more water.
Get a Water Filter
Many people think they don't like water just because they don't like their local tap water. Some people are lucky to live in areas with fantastic and fresh tap water, but for those who don't, the idea of drinking water all day is offputting. You want your water to taste clean.
Yes, you could buy bottled water, but this is bad for the environment. It's also super expensive, so if you're on a budget, you certainly won't be drinking enough.
Instead, get a water filter. This way, you can have clean and tasty water without having to purchase it pre-packaged. When you're thirsty, go get a glass!
It will be easier for you to stay consistent with your water-drinking habits when you have clean water to look forward to.
Keep a Water Bottle On Hand
You should try to keep a reusable water bottle nearby as often as possible. Whether you're on the road, at work, or at home, you can (and should) have water.
When you keep water with you, you don't have an excuse to not hydrate yourself. You don't have to get up and distract yourself.
You can even get a water bottle with a filter if you're someone that isn't your home. This way, even if the tap water elsewhere isn't as good as you'd like it to be, you can filter it.
Set Hydration Goals
Set goals for yourself so that staying hydrated is easier. You can even turn it into a game for yourself.
If you have a large water bottle, put marks on it and try to drink down to each mark by a certain time. For example, you may want to drink half of it by lunchtime. If lunch is approaching and you haven't reached that mark, you'll know you're behind and it's time to hydrate yourself!
The goals serve as reminders. You can incentivize yourself to meet those goals if you're struggling at first.
Flavor Your Water If Necessary
Some people don't mind drinking fresh and clean water all day long. People who aren't used to drinking so much, however, might not like it. If you're too used to drinking sugary or flavored drinks, flavor your water.
There are plenty of flavor drops and powders that you can add to your water without adding too much sugar or too many calories. They make water taste like juice. You can use less and less of the flavoring over time until you're ready to stick with plain water.
Some people like putting frozen fruit in their water as well. It will only slightly flavor the water, but it will keep your water cold and it will give you a snack when you're done drinking.
There's also nothing wrong with turning your water into tea. Herbal tea is great for flavoring water without any added caffeine or sugar. You still get all of the benefits of hydration.
Personally, our family loves to use LMNT. Each flavor is amazing and they don't have any sugar or artificial ingredients.
Drink a Glass of Water as Soon as You Wake Up
Give yourself a head start by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. That's right, before you make your pot of coffee, hydrate your body!
Some people prefer to drink warm water with a bit of lemon in the morning to get their digestion going. If you prefer cold water, it might be just the wake-up call you need to get the day started.
If possible, sleep with water nearby. Not only will this encourage you to drink throughout the night, but it will also mean that you don't have to get out of bed to drink water in the morning. You're far more likely to do something if it doesn't require any extra effort.
Set Reminders for Yourself
An entire day has gone by and you haven't made a dent in your water bottle! Now what?
Set actual reminders for yourself so you never miss an opportunity to sip. You can set alarms for yourself on your phone so there's no excuse for forgetting.
If you need a more fun reminder, you can also use apps. There are apps that track your water intake. Some are general fitness tracking apps while others turn drinking water into a game.
At some point, you'll no longer need the reminders. This is just a great way to get started with your new habit.
Challenge a Friend
Do you have another person in your life who's also struggling to drink enough water? Challenge them! This is another great way to "gamify" hydrating yourself.
There are several ways you can set up the challenge. The easiest is to set a number of cups of water that you're both going to drink every week. If both people drink enough, there's no penalty, and the game goes on.
If one person doesn't drink enough, they have to pay a small penalty. This could be as small as a dollar to the other player or they may have to pay for lunch or a fun outing.
Competition makes everything more fun and accessible.
Make Sure You Stay Hydrated
It can be tough to stay hydrated when you're so used to not drinking enough. Remember, water is essential to keep your body functioning. It's good for your brain, your digestion, and so much more. You're mostly made of water!
Use our tips to make sure you drink enough water every day.
At Berkey Clean Water, we want everyone to experience fresh and clean water in their own homes. Check out our water filtration options and find the right one for you today.
Using Food To Assist in Hydration
Using water is the primary way to be hydrated but did you know there are certain foods that you can eat too? Watch this video to learn more!