We all know drinking water daily is important for hydration, but how much should we drink each day? Can we drink too much?And does our morning coffee count towards our goal?
In this guide, we will discuss:
- How much water you should drink a day and which drinks count towards your goal
- The best times to drink water
- If lemon water is worth it
- What happens if we drink too much water
- How to start drinking more water
1. Is the standard “rule” still to drink eight 8 oz cups of water a day? If so, does coffee and tea count? Do fizzy waters like La Croix count? Why or why not?
The 8oz cups of water has no scientific evidence behind it, but if one of your goals is to drink more water then it is a good place to start! Water intake, just like any of our other nutrients, is individual to each of us. In the winter, we actually need more water as it is cold and dry outside, and warm and dry inside. If you are in a hot or humid climate you will need more water and of course if you are exercising more or using a sauna you will need to replace lost fluids.
Coffee and tea does not count, consuming caffeinated beverages actually makes you more dehydrated so I recommend always adding an extra glass of water when consuming these. Herbal teas can count toward your water intake, but be careful of teas such as dandelion and nettle that can have a diuretic effect.
Fizzy waters – these could count towards one of your cups a day, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend more than one a day! However some do contain added sugars or flavorings that may have negative impacts on your health and they are not good for tooth enamel either.
2. Does your water consumption need to be spaced out throughout the day, or can you still reap the same benefits if you’ve had a busy day and decide to drink all 64 ounces, etc at night? Are there any downsides to doing that?
I recommend spacing your water consumption out throughout the day to avoid flushing minerals and electrolytes out of your body all at once. Additionally, consuming excess water dilutes our stomach acid, which can make it more difficult to digest our meals and lead to more bloating and indigestion. And this will help minimize urgent bathroom breaks too!
Drink a tall glass of water first thing when you wake up as our bodies are often dehydrated after 8 hours of no water and to help with the detoxification process that occurs overnight too. Space the rest of your water intake out over the day (more after exercise or a sauna) but try to minimize liquids in the 1-2 hours before bed to prevent sleep disturbances.
3. Many people have said that drinking hot water with lemon first thing when you wake up is very beneficial for health and wellness. How so?
The health benefits from hot lemon water first thing in the morning mostly come from re-hydration, but it also may help to boost your digestion and alkalize the body due to the lemon juice. My personal take on this is to add a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of Himalayan salt to warm water to help remineralize my body and support adrenal health.
4. How much is too much water to drink a day?
If we consume too much water, we risk flushing our bodies of essential minerals that are crucial for healthy functioning of our organs. In serious cases, your kidneys are unable to get rid of excess water and your blood’s sodium content becomes diluted. This leads to a life-threatening condition called hyponatremia. It’s rare, but should be considered especially for those who participate in endurance activities. One way to prevent this is to add electrolytes to water to help with mineral balance.
5. What are some tips you have for people to help them drink more water if they’re lacking or don’t like water?
Keep a large glass of water by your bed to drink when you wake up, always have a large glass of water on your desk and always carry a water bottle in your purse or gym bag. Adding lemon, lime, cucumber, fresh herbs, and a pinch of Himalayan salt can make drinking water more flavorful and add extra health benefits. Also, make sure to focus on the health benefits of drinking more water than seeing it just as a chore – staying hydrated gives us more energy, better mental clarity and focus, can stop us craving junky foods and sweets and gives us healthy, glowing and youthful looking skin.