It’s the new year. We’ve all had our share of holiday feasting and drinking—and deserved it after the year we had! Now comes the perfect time to reset. When it comes to new year’s resolutions, more exercise and healthier eating are common goals, but it’s important to recognize that drinking enough water goes hand in hand with many of these. With that in mind, here are some hydration goals to consider for maintaining a healthy mind and body in 2022 and beyond.
Health Benefits of Proper Hydration
You’re probably familiar with the fact that the human body is made up of roughly 60% water. What’s less apparent is the impact proper hydration has on our bodies. From head to toe, water influences the optimal functioning of all of our organs. Here are a few big ways hydration keeps us healthy:
- It supports healthy energy levels and optimal brain function. The brain is one organ that relies heavily on good hydration. Even being mildly dehydrated—feeling thirsty, having darker urine—has been associated with impaired brain function. Conversely, keeping ourselves hydrated can contribute to more energy, better mood, and improved memory and brain performance.
- It’s one of the best cures for headaches. If you have a headache, it’s one of the best indicators of mild dehydration. If you experience them frequently, or are a common sufferer of migraine symptoms, consuming more water may help to improve headache symptoms and decrease their frequency.
- It optimizes our physical performance. The perfect companion to new year’s goals of more time spent at the gym, regular walks, or longer runs, staying hydrated can ensure that we’re at our peak physical performance. This is particularly important as exercise can mean a loss of up to 10% of our water weight via sweat! By having water throughout the day, we can ensure better temperature control and even reduce fatigue and boost feelings of motivation.
- It can support weight loss efforts. As another common new year’s resolution, drinking plenty of water can also aid in weight loss. Drinking water 30 minutes before meals can increase feelings of fullness, often translating to eating less. Beyond that, increased water intake has been associated with slight increases in metabolism.
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?
After realizing the importance of water, you’re probably asking how much water should I drink a day? While different answers and calculations have emerged throughout the years, there are no one-size-fits-all answers.
However, as a general rule of thumb, four to six cups of water should be consumed daily for healthy people, according to Harvard Medical School.
Even this needs some tweaking, especially for those who are exercising and sweat a lot, or during summer when more time is spent in the heat. In these cases, drinking two or even three cups of water an hour can help to compensate for sweat loss.
While you can establish a hydration plan with your doctor, you can also look for signs of mild dehydration and take steps on your own to correct them. These include:
- darker urine, or urinating less than usual
- feelings of dizziness
- weakness or confusion
- dry mouth
- sunken cheeks and eyes
- muscle cramps
- dry, cool skin
- low blood pressure
Top Ways to Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to ignore those faint signs of thirst or completely forget to drink water because of a busy schedule. Start 2022 off on the right foot by putting practices in place to get enough H2O:
- Have a special water bottle. Get in the habit of having a specific reusable water bottle that you can always keep with you—at work, in the car, and even at home. When you spot it out of the corner of your eye, it will be a good reminder to take a sip. If you’re on-the-go and don’t have time to stop for a drink, you’ll have your trusty bottle to help. Not only is it better for our planet than single-use plastics, but some even have an associated app or light function to remind you to drink.
- Consume more water-rich fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of water. These include most types of melon, zucchini, celery, and lettuce.
- Try infused water. Swap out sodas and juices with water and you’ll improve your health and hydration. If you’re worried about water being too boring, make infused water instead! You can start out with something simple—like citrus slices or cucumber—or get creative and incorporate herbs like mint and even basil.
- Get a water purifier. Not only ridding water of dangerous contaminants like lead, fluoride, nitrates, chlorine, and PFAs, water purification systems also improve the taste of the water—and are a budget- and planet-friendly alternative to plastic bottles.
Ultimately, it’s important to drink water before feeling thirsty. And when it comes from an AquaTru Water Purifier, you’ll want to—because it’s the purest, best tasting, healthiest water available.