Health advocates are always saying “make sure you hit your water intake for the day!” and you nod and go “I should really drink more water” as you sip on your fourth cup of coffee. So how much water do we really need a day? What are some tips to help increase your water intake? How much is too much? First, water is so important for many bodily functions including digestion, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells, blood pressure regulation, stabilizing the heartbeat and much more. We get it, water is important, so how much should we be drinking? According to the Harvard Health website, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach (like most things in life), and therefore is different for each individual based on a number of factors such as sweat loss, kidney function, age, environmental climate and medications. A general rule of thumb would be to drink 4 – 8 cups of water daily, but it is always best to discuss this with your doctor first.
Did you know it’s actually possible to drink too much water? Yup! Too much water can cause an imbalance in the electrolyte composition which can lead to adverse health effects and/or kidney malfunction (filter of the body). A great way to identify if you should be drinking more or less water is to take a look at the colour of your urine. If it is a dark yellow this could mean you are dehydrated. If it is super pale or almost clear this could mean you are over-hydrating.
If you struggle with your water intake during the day, try spicing things up! Add some natural flavour to your water with strawberries, lemon, cucumber, oranges or mint. Herbal tea is also a great option. Water-rich foods such as salads, celery, watermelon and apples can help bring up your water consumption. Try to limit caffeinated beverages… as hard as that can be (coffee addict here), or make sure you balance them with a glass of water. Hope these tips help you!