The Truth About Water, and How Much You Should Be Drinking

July 28, 2022

By: Dr. Mary Rose Strickland

Staying properly hydrated is very important for many functions and tissues of our body to work well.  Being hydrated boosts brain performance (including memory, mood, concentration and reaction time), digestion, results in more energy, assists in weight loss or management, can assist in decrease joint pain, aide in heart health and so much more.

Achieving proper hydration means drinking water.  Coffee, tea, sports drinks, juice, etc, all do NOT count.  We are talking PURE WATER.  But it doesn’t have to be plain.  You can add slices of lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, or some combination thereof (stick with the whole foods, avoid any liquid and artificial flavor drops).  If you are very active and sweat or are exposed to heat, even consider adding a pinch of sea salt to assist in balancing your minerals.

Hydrating properly is part of self-care.  The minimum recommendation is 8 cups a day, however many adults benefit from more.  Shoot for 12-15 cups of water per day.  Factors that make more water beneficial include age, activity level/sweat levels, heat and humidity, medications that cause your body to lose fluid, etc.

Having a hard time getting your water in?  Make a commitment to drink 1 glass of water before your morning coffee.  Drink one before each meal.  That is HALF of the minimum recommendation right there.

While you don’t want to chug all 8 cups right before bed, don’t avoid drinking at all before bedtime.  Doing so will cause your urine to become more concentrated and acidic, which can result in irritation to your bladder which signals your body to go to the bathroom – waking you up in the middle of the night.  Finding a balance to ensure you remain hydrated in the evening hours will help you get better sleep and can even help nightly trips to the bathroom.

Dr. Mary Rose Strickland is a lifestyle medicine provider, specializing in topics such as hydration that can assist overall health to allow you to Thrive Moving Through Life