How Much Water You Really Need to Drink (And How to Make It Happen)
‘Tis the season for drinking more water. It’s hot outside and people are reaching for a cold drink, and for good reason. It’s really good for you and important for body to feel like a well-run machine. Just a glass of water is helpful for many different things going on in the body. At Healthy Nest Nutrition, we talk about it a LOT. Let’s see what’s up with the nutrition research on water and health….and then talk about HOW to make it happen with consistency.
We know that our bodies are approximately 60% water, and we know your body loses water when you exercise through sweating. Research points to how not drinking enough water negatively impacts general functioning. Here’s what we found when we went hunting for water and health in the many journals of nutrition.
- Not enough water negatively affects motivation, increases fatigue and makes exercise more difficult.
- Not enough water impairs brain function, poorly affects mood and anxiety. It even negatively alters memory.
- Water helps relieve constipation. An increase in water is always my first suggestion for constipation (salad is my second).
- An increase in water, through multiple mechanisms, helps with weight loss. It increases satiety, boosts metabolic rate and helps you stay fuller so you end up eating less.
- Lemon water is a safe and helpful way to make water more interesting, and DOES aid in weight loss. Research is not conclusive as to temperature (hot vs. cold) to drink it, or the timing of drinking it (first thing in the morning, etc.).
How much water should you drink
At Healthy Nest, the general rule is ½ your body’s weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water. That’s 2-3 water bottles, depending on the size of bottles. If you exercise, add more.
The go-to app for making sure you’re drinking your water.
There are a few good apps to help make water engaging and fun, and our favorite is called Plant Nanny. When you drink water, you can “water your plant” and watch it grow. You get to choose your plant, your pot and how big your drinking container will be. You get to choose alerts. If you haven’t drunk in a while, it prompts you to drink more. As you drink the plant gets bigger, sprouts flowers and is smiley. If you forget, it gets sad looking. That’s basically it. SIMPLE CONCEPT—BUT IT WORKS. Kids love it. Adults love it. We love it because you actually drink more consistently because of using it. Try it.
If you want to work with us, please reach out to our holistic nutritionists. We’ll be happy to help you reach your wellness goals with food. We offer a complimentary chat to make sure we’re a good fit for you. You can schedule that here.
J Nutr. 2012 Feb;142(2):382-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.142000. Epub 2011 Dec 21. Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. Armstrong LE1, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(10):1535-43. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511002005. Epub 2011 Jun 7.
Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. Ganio MS1, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR.
Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women. K Murakami, S Sasaki, H Okubo, Y Takahashi, Y Hosoi, M Itabashi & and the Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume61, pages616–622 (2007) Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Sep;14(9):991-9.
PMID: 27376070Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss Simon N. Thornton1,* Effects of carbonated water on functional dyspepsia and constipation. Cuomo R1, Grasso R, Sarnelli G, Capuano G, Nicolai E, Nardone G, Pomponi D, Budillon G, Ierardi E.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9. Water-induced thermogenesis. Boschmann M1, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1236-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.013. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. Davy BM1, Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Wilson KL, Davy KP.