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Drink More Water: The “How To” Water Guide

#balance #balance #wellness #drinkwater #energy #healthylifestyle #water #womenshealth Jun 26, 2023

I know you’ve heard how good it is to drink water, but there may still be questions surrounding the subject of water intake, such as; What really are the health benefits? How much should I be drinking? How do I know if I am getting enough water? And does where I get my water from really matter? These are all questions that I answer in this article, plus more! Drinking water to stay healthy is essential. This article guides you through the “how-to” to get hydrated for better health and wellness!

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The Benefits of Drinking Water

How many benefits? Let me count the ways. Water. We can’t survive without it, yet so many may not even drink 1 glass of water per day. Sure, there may be water involved, but with added ingredients such as sugar, caffeine, and perhaps numerous other ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. This is such a simple tactic to enhance your health and lose weight, but many times overlooked.

So, let’s take a look at all of the benefits that drinking more water will do for you!

  • Balanced blood sugar is a biggy because this will cascade into many of the issues mentioned on this list.
  • Weight loss- Adequate water intake boosts one’s metabolism as it balances one’s blood sugar. Drinking more water also reduces cravings. These are all important components to one losing weight.  
  • Increased Energy- staying well hydrated keeps the blow flowing adequately, perfusing all of your vital organs with essential oxygenation, helping your energy level increase, as well as your metabolism.
  • Decreases Heart disease- Yep, adequate blood flow and oxygenation again.
  • Increases focus and decreases “brain fog”- That adequate blood perfusion again. Oxygen to the brain=increased concentration!
  • Better Gut Health- have you heard how important gut health is to all areas of our health? For example, water helps the gut absorb important nutrients and carry them to your cells, assists with eliminating waste, and helps balance the gut’s microbiome.
  • Relieves Constipation- back to the gut! If you suffer from chronic constipation, increase your water intake. Studies have shown mineral water can help enhance this because of added magnesium and salt.
  • Benefits Kidney Function- Not only are you perfusing your kidneys, but you’re helping to flush out the toxins by drinking more water.
  • Balances Hormones- this is a whole lot to do with the balanced blood sugar thing again, as well as a healthy gut!
  • Headaches- Did you know that a sign of dehydration is a headache? Do you suffer from them regularly? Drink more water!
  • Enhances skin health- Yes, water hydrates the largest organ of your body, the skin. Not only does it help hydrate the skin, but it also keeps moisture in your hair, eyes, mouth, and nose. These are moisture-rich body parts that require hydration!
  • Lubricates muscles and joints- added fluid keeps these well lubricated and functioning optimally.
  • Prevents muscle cramps- this is another sign of dehydration!
  • Reduces inflammation- inflammation is to blame for a boatload of health ailments. Drinking more water can help combat this.
  • Slows signs of aging- now who doesn’t want that?

How Much Water to Drink

So how much water should you drink? The golden rule for the average person is to take your body weight, divide that by 2, and drink that number in ounces. An example is if you weigh 160 pounds, you will want to drink 80 ounces of water per day. This may seem like a lot, especially if you are not drinking nearly this much a day, but to get started, just get started.

One of the tips I give my clients is to get up in the morning and drink  10-20 ounces (1-2 glasses) of water first thing.  Your body has been asleep for several hours, so it needs to be hydrated. This should come before the coffee and may even replace the coffee because it will help you feel rejuvenated, as it is rehydrating not only the body but also the brain. This leads to a clearer mind, better thinking, and increased energy. In order to stay well hydrated before working up that sweat, I recommend drinking 8-10 ounces of water before a workout! Sip small amounts of water during your workout and rehydrate after!

The amount of water your body needs may vary based on the amount of activity you’re doing. If you are exercising and really working up a sweat, your body will require more water. If you live in a climate with higher temperatures, you will need more water. Also, if you are drinking caffeine and/or alcohol, both are dehydrating and require your body to need more water.

How to Know if You're Drinking Enough Water

A good way to gauge whether or not you are drinking enough is by simply examining your urine. Is there a good amount when you go, or are you urinating just small amounts at a time? There should be an abundance of urine when you go, and you should be emptying your bladder every 2-3 hours. This is normal. Going only 2-3 times in a 24-hour period is not.  Also, what is the color? Is it dark, or is it light to clear? If it is dark, you are likely not getting enough water.

Once you start increasing your water intake, you will increase your trips to the bathroom, but this will level out after a few days to a week. After that, your body will adjust and be so very happy that you have increased your water intake.

Tips on How to Drink More Water When You Don’t Really Like Water

If you are not a big fan of drinking water, you can do a few things to enhance the taste. Eventually, you will grow accustomed and think that water is the most refreshing drink ever. I am serious; it will happen. If you drink sweet drinks and caffeine, this may take some time. You will eventually crave water over other things. This may seem like a stretch for you, but I promise it will happen! Are a few ideas to get you started are:

You can add any combination of the following to your drinking water

  • Lemon
  • Mint Leaves
  • Oranges or Grapefruit
  • Cucumber
  • Strawberries
  • Heat some water with lemon in it

Keeping Drinking Water Available

A good rule of thumb to keep you going on the water train is to keep it around you, everywhere you go. I recommend getting a good water bottle to carry with you, and perhaps even a few, so that you can keep one at the office, at home, in the car, and in your gym bag. This way, you always have it, and it will act as a good reminder to drink it! For me, I have a 36 oz Yeti, so I know exactly how many times I need to fill it each day to reach my intake goal. Stainless steel water bottles with reverse osmosis technology are your best options. YetiKlean Kanteen, and Hydro Flask are all great brands. The ice stays for solid hours, the water stays cold, and the bottle doesn’t sweat!

Another tip is to keep a pitcher of water available in the fridge or at your workspace. Keeping a pitcher/container with the amount of water you want to drink every day will keep you on track, and easy to remember how much you need to drink every day.

Not All Drinking Water is Created Equal

Water quality is not what it was before. While your tap water may be ok, it doesn’t hurt to test it. Even if levels are “within healthy limits”, I don’t know about you, but I would rather have none of the following in my drinking water; chlorine, lead, benzene, MTBE, chloramines, and PBC, as opposed to a certain “safe” level. To be on the safe side, a good water filter is a great investment. There are plenty of them on the market, so it just depends on your budget, your space, and perhaps the specific water contaminants you may have. Another good reason to test your water! You can find a water testing kit here.

There are several types of water filters, and again, it depends on your situation, but here is a rundown of some choices;

Pitchers– These usually have a filter that is has activated carbon in them to remove contaminants, while improving the taste and eliminating odor. They typically reduce contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and mercury. Store the pitchers in your refrigerator. They do not require any installation.

Faucet Mounted Filters– These will be installed at the end of your faucet. You can turn it on and off with a switch. It filters the water, similar to the pitcher filters, but is convenient, as you don’t have to keep filling and cleaning a pitcher.

Countertop Filters– These sit on your kitchen counter and have a line that connects to your faucet. There is a valve that allows you to switch between filtered and unfiltered. There is an extra spout that collects the filtered water from the unit.

Under Sink Filters– These are fitted into your water supply line and are mounted under your kitchen sink. There are a few different technologies that are used for these including reverse osmosis, and activated carbon. This will be sure to not only eliminate contaminants in your drinking water but your cooking water as well.

A Word About Bottled Drinking Water

Bottled water is very convenient and easy; however, a few concerns are surrounding them. First, we need to take into consideration the environmental impact that they have. Not only does plastic take forever to break down (500-100 years. Yikes!), it is one of the worst ocean pollutants. In addition, it requires an enormous amount of fossil fuels to fill and distribute. Next, plastic bottles are likely made from PET containers. Although they are generally considered safe, there are still chemicals. And the problem? When heated, the chemicals can leach into your water. Not only will you perhaps leave the bottle in the warm sun or hot car, but what kind of temperatures did the bottles travel in to get to the distribution centers and then store that you purchased them from?

When you are on the go, I get that it may be a must for you to grab a water bottle now and again. If you must purchase water bottles, look for brands that have an NSF certification logo on them.  NSF certification is a global public health organization that is committed to health and wellness. Some brands are; Saratoga, Culligan, and Ozarka, or choose brands that use a glass bottle; Edan Springs and Voss. These choices may be more on your wallet. The bottles are reusable. And, you will be helping to save the planet and drinking cleaner water!

To clear up any confusion about the types of bottled water and where they come from, below is a list of what you might find on your drinking water label;

  • Mineral Water- The water comes from a mineral spring and contains minerals that our body needs but does not get enough of with the diets that most of us have.
  • Artesian Water- This is groundwater that has been confined under pressure between layers of underground rock called an aquifer. The water rises to the top of the aquifer when a well taps it.
  • Spring Water- The water that comes from underground formation and naturally rises to the surface, feeding into a natural spring.
  • Purified Water- This is produced water by distilling using reverse osmosis and deionization. In this type, there are few natural minerals left. These types go through more processing than the previous types mentioned.

So, Go ahead. Grab a water bottle that suits you, and that’s going to help you keep track of your water intake. Get on the water train today, start feeling better, and give your body what it needs and requires. We only have one body! Treat it well!


  2. HCI BHC “How to Water” Handout for coaches