How much water should you drink a day? It’s something that we do all the time, but often don’t pay attention to. Much like breathing, our water consumption is essential to life. But how much water should you drink, based on your height and weight? That could vary. Furthermore, there are plenty of arguments about what actually IS water. Let’s take a look.
Juices and Sports Drink As Water Intake
These count as hydrating yourself, but don’t have too much. The amount of sugar in these drinks can drive your blood sugar through the roof. Likewise, fruit juice does not have fiber and is missing many of the ingredients that makes eating fresh, whole fruit healthy. Many people swear by a glass of orange juice a day for its high vitamin C content and anecdotal ability to prevent the cold and flu. Recent research suggests this is not true.
Do Coffee and Tea Count As Water Intake?
Maybe. The better question is, how much caffeine do you need to get through the day, and how often do you drink it? You can count these as intake to a point. Studies suggest more than three cups of coffee or tea per day can cause the diuretic effects of caffeine to tip the scales on the hydration and antioxidant benefits they have to offer. One thing to consider is how much you may consume regularly and within which period of time. Your body will self-regulate your caffeine intake with time and consistency, meaning that if you drink six cups of coffee regularly, your urine output will not increase beyond what it would regularly be in drinking six glasses of water.
What about the booze?
Unfortunately, the same can be said about alcohol, which is also a diuretic. Liquor is a major no-no for hydration (obviously), and while one beer might make you feel better, it decreases your production of anti-diuretic hormone that reabsorbs water.
So how much water should you drink per day? Establishing a simple baseline formula is easy if you know short division: Your weight x/2 = the amount of oz. of water per day recommended.
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Can Water Help You Lose Weight?
Drinking plenty of water is just about the single most important thing you can do in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle — and this includes both maintaining a healthy weight and working toward any weight loss goals. Water and weight loss have long been associated for several reasons:
- Drinking water temporarily increases your metabolism, helping you expend more calories with less effort
- Drinking a glass or two before meals can help you feel more full which has the potential to reduce the amount of food you consume
- Water also helps your entire body function more efficiently, so everything from your metabolism to your bowels will thank you for drinking enough water to keep all your systems working smoothly.
How Does Water Help You Lose Weight?
In addition to helping you feel more full during meals and reducing your calorie intake as a result, drinking water and weight loss make a great pair because the more water you drink, the less likely you’ll be to drink other, high-calorie beverages like juices or alcohol. Beverages are often one of the first places people turn when looking to cut calories because most beverages tend to have large amounts of processed sugars, and a deceptively large amount of calories. As a result, swapping out that Coke or Pepsi for a glass of water is a quick way to reduce your overall calorie intake while doing your body a huge metabolic favor by eliminating the sugar high and increased calories from soda.
And if you want to increase the effectiveness of drinking water for weight loss, try drinking your water ice cold. This increases the metabolic expense of hydrating, because your body has to work to warm the water back up (we think it tastes better that way.)
Weight Loss With Lemons & Water
In addition to all the advantages of simply drinking plenty of water, lemon water specifically can amplify benefits for weight loss goals. Lemon water generally tastes more appealing than tap water, which often motivates people to drink more of it — helping accomplish hydration goals. Lemons in particular contain many beneficial chemicals, so even just a small squeeze can help your skin, digestion, metabolism, and sometimes even reduce sugar cravings.
Adding lemon and other flavors to water is another useful way to incentivize drinking enough water for weight loss. Try some of these delicious and healthful combinations to (quite literally) spice up your drinking water routine:
- Citrus fruits: Lemon, lime, orange, any and all combinations of these make for a delicious way to add interest to water.)
- Berries and citrus combinations: Lime and raspberry make a great pairing, while lemon and strawberry bring perky, spring flavors
- Cucumber: A long-standing favorite vegetable addition to water, cucumber brings a mellow, subtle flavor to water and can be another great pairing with berries
- Spices: Cinnamon, turmeric, mint, ginger, and chilli power are all popular ways to liven up your water. These are also great in combination with other additions like lemons. Try pineapple and chili powder, for example, basil and strawberry, sage and blackberries, or lemon and anise seed. Many spices have their own advantages, like ginger aiding digestion and being great for stomachs in general, so you can match your water recipe to your mood or your needs.
Another great way to help motivate you to drink more water? Making sure you’re drinking high-quality water that tastes great. After all, if it doesn’t taste fresh and delicious, it’s going to be hard to drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated (much less lose weight). That’s why many people choose to filter their water at home — our drinking water systems are an affordable, effective way to get better-quality water, right from your tap — for great tasting results that make it easy to stick to hydration goals.
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