How Much Water do You Need to Drink a Day?

Drinking water story
Photo by Patrick

This story starts a long time ago, in a small town where families had dozens of kids. Her name was Monique, and she was a bright eyed bushy tailed girl, who liked to draw horses and sometimes people too.

Monique liked to dance, and she hid stacks of love letters under her mattress. As she grew older, she did what most young girls do. She settled down and got married. Then Monique started a family of her own.

Somewhere along the way she stopped being a bright eyed bushy tailed girl. Not that she wasn’t happy, because clearly she was. She had all that a woman could hope for, and she was content.

But somewhere along the way, she stopped doing the things that had kept her healthy and shiny-eyed.

She stopped drinking water.

As Monique grew older, she watched her children move out on their own and start families. She even taught some of her grand children how to draw horses and sometimes people too.

When one of her bright eyed bushy tailed grand daughters asked Monique why she didn’t drink water, she replied: “Because I don’t want to go to the bathroom too often.”

How Much Water Really Affects Us…

We all think that wrinkles are normal, and that it’s age that makes us sick and weak. But what if it was just a matter of keeping your body fully hydrated?

Monique was my grand mother. She passed away when I was a young girl, suffering from bladder and kidney issues and later on cancer.

I’m sure there were other contributing factors, but from my research and experience I know that drinking more water could have helped keep her healthy longer.

How much water should you drink?
Photo by Cyron Ray Macey

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

We’ve all heard something about drinking 8 eight ounce glasses per day. But the amount of water you drink should really depend on the individual, as well as your lifestyle.

If you exercise and sweat a lot, then you would need to drink more water. Also, it’s important to note that drinking liquids other than water are not a good substitute.

Even changing the amount of minerals the water contains can change how your body absorbs it. So think twice before drinking anything other than pure water, and counting it toward your total.

My recommendation for figuring out how much water you need to drink in a day, is to look at the color of your pee.

Yes, it might seem silly, but it’s a great way to get immediate feedback on how dehydrated your body is. If your pee is dark or yellow, then you aren’t drinking enough water. It’s only once your pee is clear that you know you’re getting enough water.

Notice that most mornings your pee is dark, whereas throughout the day it is more clear. That’s because our bodies get dehydrated during the night from exhaling, sweating, and because we aren’t drinking any water during the night.

Should You Drink Less Water if You’re Eating Raw?

Recently, I was talking to a client about green smoothies and he mentioned that he had to go to the bathroom more often after drinking a smoothie. Since green smoothies are high in fiber, that made sense to me but he was more worried about having to pee more often.

A lightbulb went on in my head, since I had heard the whole “I don’t want to pee too often” excuse somewhere before.

The truth is that high water content fruits and vegetables are good for you. They help flush out toxins in your body, and they keep you hydrated with the most purely filtrated water available – from plants!

I recommend you use the same strategy of looking at your pee to determine if you’re drinking enough water.

How Much is Too Much Water?

With every recommendation there’s always a caveat, and this one is the possibility of drinking too much water. I remember hearing about a case where people drank so much water while fasting that they experienced major problems, and some even died.

Clearly, it’s a case for listening to your body. If your pee is clear, then don’t try to force yourself to drink too much extra water. Just to be on the safe side.

And remember that going to the bathroom often is not a bad thing! If you are worried about an elderly person, why not bring a bedside commode for them to use, so they can get the health benefits of drinking enough water.

Tricks to Keep Hydrated

If you really don’t like the taste of water, try adding a slice of fresh ginger, or cucumber, or a lemon or lime. This adds flavor, it’s inexpensive and can make drinking water a little more enjoyable.

Another tip is to have water with you where ever you go. That means bringing a water bottle, or knowing where the water fountains are.

If you need more tips, check out the follow-up article all about how to drink more water every day!

What other tips do you have for keeping hydrated?

Share in the comments below!

Love, Nathalie