I am one of those people that drinks an obscene amount of water throughout the day. I have so many reusable water bottles it’s quite frankly ridiculous. I might actually be a fish. I mean, I am a pisces and my name does actually translate to body of water… but I digress. Water is life! L’eau est le vie!
Why do I think water is so important? It’s because water makes up roughly 60% of our bodies! And unlike plants, we cannot just absorb water from the surrounding environment, we must ingest it. Now, I know what you’re thinking, does coffee count? How about my oh-so-beloved kale smoothie? It’s winter time! I’ve been eating a lot of soup, that counts, right? Okay, yes, those are all ways that you are hydrating yourself but there is nothing quite like some high quality H2O.
How much water do you actually need? That depends on a lot of factors. Your gender and level of activity both are major factors in determining how much water you should be consuming daily. Assuming that you lead an average lifestyle (which ideally is 60% active, 40% sedentary…), women are supposed to drink 2 liters of liquids and men are supposed to drink 3 liters. That’s about 9 and 13 cups, respectively. (1) If you are someone who is very active (i.e. someone training for a marathon) you need to take this into consideration in determining how much hydration your body requires to be functioning at the highest potential.
So… what you’re saying is that I need to drink a massive amount of water every day? No! That is not what I am saying at all! If you count all of the other things you consume throughout the day, roughly 20% of your hydration comes from the food you consume. So that whole “drink 8 glasses of water a day” concept goes along with this. However, that is still ridiculous, who (besides myself) is tracking their hydration like that? No one. And I get it, sometimes you don’t want to carry water around with you. Sometimes you’re somewhere that you can’t get any water. And who the heck can handle carrying their Starbucks latte, their phone, AND a glass of water? It’s not like we have 3 hands or anything…
Once you feel thirsty, YOU. ARE. DEHYDRATED. You know what would be really good at this point? That free glass of water you could have gotten at Starbucks with that quad-shot latte. (2) Don’t trust your innate biological response and symptoms? That’s okay. There’s an app for that. If you need help working on monitoring your water intake there is a great app called “Plant Nanny.” Everyone loves looking at their phones all day anyway, so this is perfect. You can take care of a cute little plant that requires you to water it throughout the day! And if you forget to water it, what does your cute little plant do? It gets sad and then it DIES. Wow. You already felt like you didn’t have a green thumb and now it turns out that you can kill your little cyber plant. Because I know you will immediately forget about this unless I provide you with it, you can download the app here:
Still have a flip phone? It’s okay, I’ve got a simple way to help you monitor your intake as well. Can you guess what it is? Looking at your pee. Yes. I went there. Darn me and my potty mouth. But on a completely serious note, if your urine is dark yellow you probably need to get some water. You should be going to the bathroom at least once every 2-4 hours. (2) You can also look at your tongue in the mirror. If your tongue looks white, you should probably drink some water. If your tongue looks brown, you should probably stop drinking coffee and brush your teeth. If your tongue is any other color, you should probably go to the doctor.
So the next time you’re sitting at your desk, staring at the 5 excel sheets, 12 word documents, and 30 tabs you have open and you’re thinking “man, I have such a bad headache” or if you’re walking around and think “wow, my mouth is dry” – get yourself some water. Simple as that.