How Much Water do you need?

 It used to be 8 by 8, but now doctors are recommending something different. How do you know if you're drinking enough and a simple idea to try to help you stay hydrated.

It used to be 8 by 8, but now doctors are recommending something different. How do you know if you're drinking enough and a simple idea to try to help you stay hydrated.

One of the great birthday gifts I gave myself this year is the gift of good health. I feel really blessed to have no major ailments, injuries, or physical challenges, but I also have a ways to go to feel fit, healthy, and strong. One area that I'm focusing on in particular is hydration.

How much water do you drink a day? How much liquid in total? I've always wondered if I'm getting enough (though checking out the toilet bowl after a quick pee is a good indication - clear for hydrated, yellow for dehydrated). I know that I need to add more to my daily intake. The old 8 for 8 rule (8, 8-oz glasses of water a day) is a good standby, but I've also been reading that there's more to it than that. So I did some fact finding for us.

Our body weight is made up of about 60 percent water. Everything, every system and organ, depends on water. It flushes out toxins, carries nutrients, and provides moisture - just to name a few all star traits.

It seems that the new recommendation for how much water to ingest varies on your gender, your weight, and your activity levels. Makes sense. The Institute of Medicine recommends about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day for women. Notice that the rec is beverages so that other liquids can/should be consumed as well, particularly to replace important electrolytes that might be lost in physical exertion and sweat. Don't fret, you don't have to down Gatorade. Doctors say adding a bit of sea salt to your drink adds the same beneficial effects.

According to WebMD, "you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” So if you weigh 150 pounds for example, you're looking at 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.

I also found this tidbit from USNews that I thought was really helpful:

"The basic equation for determining... is by dividing your body weight in half. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would need 100 ounces of water per day if you're not doing anything strenuous. If you're working out, hiking, at a high altitude or outdoors a great deal, you're going to need to add to those 100 ounces."

I can do that!

 Try this: write the number of glasses you want to drink up the side of a glass in dry erase marker. As you finish a glass, wipe off the top number to keep track of how many more you'd like to drink!

Try this: write the number of glasses you want to drink up the side of a glass in dry erase marker. As you finish a glass, wipe off the top number to keep track of how many more you'd like to drink!

And here's how I'm keeping track. I measured out eight ounces. Yes, I'm that kind of gal. We have juice glasses that are just about exactly eight ounces. I write the number of glasses that I want to drink up the side of the glass in dry erase marker. As I finish a glass, I rub off the top number with my finger so that I remember how many more I should be drinking. Sometimes us busy moms need helpful ways to keep track of this kind of thing since we can get pulled away by kids, work, or the house at any given moment!

How do you make sure that you're hydrated?

xoxo, MJ