How much water should I be drinking?

Ever since I could remember, experts have said it’s important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. I never really understood why it was so important, I just remember my mother always reminding me to “drop that soda, and drink some water!”

So, why is drinking water so important to the human body?

I’m glad you asked.

Surely we can get the same nutrients from soda, tea, juices, and sports drinks can’t we? Wrong! The human body is made up primarily of water. 60 to 70% [Mayo Clinic, 2013] of our body is water and it only makes sense that we need to drink more of it for optimal functioning. Ever find that after a nice carbonated soda pop you’re still pretty thirsty? Not exactly a thirst quencher now is it.

If you find yourself tired throughout the day and struggle to make it out alive, you may not be getting enough water. Dehydration is one of the top reasons for feeling fatigue. Those of you who are guilty as charged with not drinking enough water, more than likely spend a lot of time being tired and lacking energy. Stop reaching for other liquids that don’t supply your body the necessary nutrients for healthy functioning. Water is and always will be the ONLY drink of choice for optimal human function.

What about food? Think it may need a little help breaking down and digesting? Sure it does. If you’re dehydrated, your body won’t break down foods properly, hindering nutrient absorption and causing a whole host of other issues. Most people spend the majority of their lives dehydrated and don’t know it. Dehydration leads to poor plumbing.

Unless you live in a giant bubble, chances are you are exposed to toxins in some manner. Well, good news. Water helps the body flush out toxins. You probably already know that your kidneys act as a filter, but for them to function adequately they need proper hydration. Drink more water and your body will do a better job of expelling toxins.

Now, let’s talk water from a fitness standpoint. Can’t shed those extra couple of pounds? Drink water! Water helps you burn fat. Period. If you’re starting a new workout program, it’s advised to slowly increase your water intake to help your body speed up and burn fat. Why put in all the effort if your body plans on working against you? Work smarter, not harder.

Lastly, let’s talk supplementation. It goes hand-in-hand with water consumption. Vitamins and minerals are essential to human growth and development. Our body naturally sweats out water, which means we lose vital electrolytes in the process. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium help regulate the body’s fluids. You’re not thirsty so there is no reason to drink water, right? Wrong! Thirst is not the only indicator your body is lacking water. Be sure to consume plenty of water per day. It’s recommended to increase water consumption when engaging in physical activity as well as being in dry climates. Long story short, proper water and vitamin/mineral supplementation are of the utmost importance.