A Complete Guide to Water

NOV, 3 2015

A Complete Guide to Water: Benefits, Hydration Calculator & Tricks to Create a Healthy Habit

 

You need water in order to stay alive. That may have not been a major realization in your life, but statistically half of the people who just read that line are not drinking enough water. Those who are not getting enough water tend to fall into three camps. The first think “why is drinking the proper amount of water such a big deal? I’m not dead so I should be fine.” If not being dead is your standard of living, then proper hydration is probably the least of your problems and you should really get your life together. A second group are the people who know they should, but ask “what’s in it for me?” And then there are those who know they need to drink more water and the benefits of it, but simply don’t remember to keep a good habit.

 

Let’s start from the beginning, what are the health benefits of proper body hydration? There are a TON of reasons, but let’s keep to the most tangible and beneficial.

 

  1. Weight control – We all get hungry, but next time you are hungry try drinking a large glass of water and see if you are still hungry. Most of the time, your hunger will subside because your body will believe that it is full. This is not substituting a meal, but it helps prevent the urge that hunger pushes us to have just one quick snack before lunch. Still a little hungry? Have some vegetables and another large glass of water and I will guarantee the hunger will dissipate.
  2. Improve your mood – Do this for yourself and for those around you, grumpy pants. This benefit includes a number of sub-points.
    1. General mood – Numerous studies have shown that even a small amount of dehydration lowers brain activity and decreases your general mood.
    2. Prevent and treat headaches - There are number of reasons why, but in general it has to do with proper blood flood to the brain and keeping brain pathways free of junk.
  3. Increase in energy – When you’re dehydrated the body has to work harder to keep up the same amount of bodily functions. Proper hydration keeps your organs, blood and physiology “greased” up and moving smoothly, lowering the amount of energy it takes to keep you alive.
  4. Helps keep your body “clean” – Proper hydration helps keep your body clean in two ways:
    1. Helping digestion and preventing constipation - Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them harder and difficult to pass. Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. This helps your digestive system work well and promotes regular bowel movements. That’s a knowledge dump.
    2. Flush out toxins – Our kidneys process around 200 quarts of bloody daily. With proper hydration they are able to wash out toxins in our blood and send them to your bladder to be disposed of properly. Dehydration does not provide your kidney’s with enough water to flush out the toxins, allowing them to clutter up your body, causing a whole list of issues.

 

At this point, you probably get the idea; drinking proper amount of water can benefit you in a number of ways. However, everybody is different, so what is your individual “proper amount of water”? The general standard is you should have 8 cups of water a day, but how many of us actually measure our drinking in cups? Do you ever go up to a bar and say “Can I get 2 cups of Rainier beer?” To put this in terms most red-blooded Americans can understand, we’ve put together a chart based off of pints, or your typical beer glass size. If you want an exact calculation and have a quick 2 minutes to fill out a website, we suggest Camelbak's Hydration Calculator.

 

Number of Pints of Water You Should Drink Per Day

Your Weight

Light activity

Moderate activity

Strenuous activity

115 lbs

4.5

4.75

5

125 lbs

4.5

5

5.5

150 lbs

4.5

5

5.5

175 lbs

4.75

5.25

6.25

200 lbs

4.75

5.5

6.625

 

 

Okay, so now you know why to drink water, how much to drink but still need help remembering to actually fill up that glass. Here are some tips that should help you along your way.

 

  1. Invest in a great bottle and make it your own. With all of these benefits, it truly is an investment.
  2. Label your bottle with time increments to know how much you’ve drank and need to drink. For example, mark the top of the bottle 9:00 AM and have 2-hour increments every quarter of the bottle so by 11:00 AM you’ve drank one full bottle. 
  3. Have your nearby office mates do it as a team. Some teams will put in a dollar for every pint that you do not drink in a day. Remember to use the funds to spend on something everybody will want, like lunch or happy hour.
  4. Set mental triggers on your phone. A number of people found success by having an hourly reminder to have a large drink of water. You may not hit every reminder but be sure to stick with it, even if you miss one or two. 
  5. Add lemons or fruit to your water to make it more enjoyable. Some people just don’t like the taste of water and some get sick of it after a while. That’s why adding slices of fresh fruit can give a great taste and all of the health benefits.

 

Being properly hydrated should be a requirement in your daily routine to live a happy and healthy day. By following a couple of our jumpstart tips we hope you’re on your way to creating easily the best habit you can ever have. 



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