One of the most popular prescriptions doctors share with their patients is to drink plenty of water. Most of us nod knowingly, having heard the advice from other doctors, teachers, friends, and even our parents. But without understanding the suggestion, there is no motivation to follow the advice. And exactly how much is “plenty” of water?
Every cell, tissue, and organ in the body needs water to maintain normal system body functions. Drinking your daily requirement serves a range of purposes in the body, such as removing waste through urine; controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; keeping your skin clear and hydrated; and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Without it, the body begins to shut down, causing poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath, and general fatigue.
There is no universal water prescription. Every individual body has different needs. To determine the amount of water your body needs, simply divide your body weight by two. The resulting number is the ounces of water your body requires daily. Drinking this specific amount of water a day—determined by your body weight—can only benefit the body and its functions. Knowing the ounces of water your body needs is only half the battle. Drinking the water consistently throughout the day is just as important. To help fulfill your daily requirement, create a schedule that starts in the morning and ends two hours before you go to bed.
- Start your day right. Set a large glass of water by the bed when you go to sleep and drink it first thing when you wake up in the morning. This pulls out toxins left from the previous day and refreshes your system, preparing it for the day ahead.
- Buy a sustainable water bottle. Choose a water bottle that indicates the number of ounces it holds. Determine how many times you need to refill that bottle to reach your water intake goal, and keep it accessible throughout the day, whether you’re on the go or sitting at a desk.
- Drink water throughout the day. Instead of depending on the sensation of thirst to determine when to drink throughout the day, drink consistently enough that you need to urinate every two to four hours. If your urine is a dark yellow, that is a sign that you are not drinking enough water!