It is estimated that about two-thirds of Americans are not drinking enough water. Are you one of them? Let’s face it, drinking half of your body weight in ounces takes an intentional effort, but your efforts will pay off!
Here are six body signs that may be indicating you need to drink up:
1. You feel like taking a nap at your desk by mid-afternoon.
When low energy drags you down at 2 or 3pm don’t grab a donut, a cup of coffee or an energy drink for a boost. The sugar and caffeine in these options might give you an instant burst of energy, but the effects are short-lived. Often it is actually dehydration that is the cause of feeling sluggish and fatigued so have a tall glass of water to re-energize instead.
How much water should I drink each day?
At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we recommend that you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, a 160-pound person should aim for 80 ounces of water each day (10, 8-ounce cups).
2. You feel cranky and unable to focus.
If you can relate to this one, recent research says your solution could be as easy as drinking a glass of water. In a study published in 2012 in theJournal of Nutrition, researchers found that even mild dehydration caused a loss of focus and low moods. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler every hour to fill up your glass.
3. You experience frequent headaches.
Your brain is about 75 percent water and if you’re not drinking plenty of fluids to keep your brain hydrated, the lack of blood volume to this organ can trigger a headache. Something as simple as drinking a couple of glasses of water whenever you feel you might be coming down with a headache could save you from a lot of pain and suffering over the course of your lifetime.
4. Your skin looks older than you feel.
Dry skin, which will result from chronically not getting enough water, is less able to repair itself and generate new cells. This will cause wrinkles to appear deeper and your skin will not have that healthy glow. Try slicing up fresh lemons or limes and adding them to your water. The extra flavor will help you want to drink more, plus the vitamin C from these citrus fruits has been shown to help protect against wrinkles.
5. Your gym session has barely begun and you feel drained.
Research shows that even mild dehydration negatively affects your exercise and athletic performance. With mild dehydration your muscles can feel weak, your body will fatigue much faster and you might even get to the point of feeling dizzy. And don’t forget that muscle cramps can set in when you haven’t replaced the water lost through sweat during a workout. If your exercise routine will last longer than one hour, consider taking a personal water dispenser/beverage cooler with you. These can hold up to one gallon of water, plenty to keep you hydrated throughout a sweaty workout routine or sporting event.
6. You’re hungry again!
You may think your body is telling you that you’re hungry when in reality you are simply thirsty. How do you know for sure? Simple,…drink a glass of water. If the glass of water satisfies you, you know your body needed water, not food.
Remember, by the time your body experiences the sensation of thirst, you are already dehydrated. Stay ahead of the hydration game by drinking at least 8 ounces of water first thing upon waking. Then carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, and of course, don’t forget to sip on it throughout the day.
Do you have tips and tricks for drinking plenty of water each day? Please share them in the comments below.SOURCES:
#2: J. Nutr. February 1, 2012 vol. 142 no. 2 382-388.
#4: Am J Clin Nutr October 2007 vol. 86 no. 4 1225-1231.
#5: Can J Appl Physiol. 1999 Apr;24(2):164-72.