Water is the best thing you can put in your body, yet so many of us ignore it throughout the day. As hard as consistently hydrating may be for us to do, it’s that much harder for our bodies to run at their optimum levels without it. You work so hard to fuel with nutritious food, exercise daily, but you neglect your H2O intake, depriving your body of an essential nutrient.
What This Article Covers:
Importance of H20 In The Human Body
Recommended Daily Intake Of Water
8 Ways To Get More Water Throughout Your Day
Water & The Human Body
You may be thinking, “because our bodies use it, duh!”, but let’s take it a step further – why do our bodies use water and how do our bodies use water? Well, in plain terms, water is involved in every single cellular and chemical reaction within the human body. Woah! Water’s function within the human body is to transport nutrients, waste, and oxygen throughout the body while also regulating temperature, protect your organs, relieve constipation, repair tissues, and lubricate joints.1
An average human being can live about 3 weeks, give or take. How long can humans live without water? Humans can live about 3-7 days without water.1 That’s not very long which means that it also doesn’t take very long to become dehydrated. You don’t get hydrated by drinking water occasionally, you become (and stay) hydrated by drinking water consistently.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Water intake values vary based on the individual– no big secret there. But following a few guidelines from the Mayo Clinic can help you find and establish a basal water intake level that’s right for you and your lifestyle.
Side Note: Sports drinks, like Gatorade, Fit Aid, or Kill Cliff, should only be relied upon as a source of hydration when intense exercise lasts more than an hour. (2)
Dehydration Is No Joke
The average human body loses nearly 3 liters (that’s almost a gallon) of water by just functioning throughout the day. This is done by regulating body temperature, sweating, going to the tinkle, and even just breathing. That doesn’t include exercising or increased motor function outside of the body. During exercise alone, let’s go with an hour for example - the body loses 1-2 liters of water by just sweating.1
Mild Dehydration Signs
- dry mouth
- cracked lips
- minimal/dark urine
- a headache
Extreme Dehydration Symptoms:
- rapid heartbeat
- extreme thirst
- little to no urination
- severe muscle cramping
Chronic dehydration is no joke either. While you may not think you are dehydrated to the negatively noticeable point, that doesn’t always mean you’re as hydrated as you should be. Adverse health effects from chronic dehydration can severely affect your organs and lead to cholesterol problems, constipation, kidney stones, liver, joints problems, and even muscle damage. (1,3) So while you may not feel like you fit in the mild or severe category, it’s imperative to hydrate daily with both drink and food.
8 Easy Ways To Make Drinking Water More Fun
Drink Water As Your Starter
Not only will this help you feel fuller, longer, but every time you sit down to eat a snack or a meal, opt for 8 oz water first. Sometimes when we get bored at work or during a long drive, we turn to food to keep us busy, when sometimes we're really just thirsty. Stay hydrated, lose weight, eat less and drink more. Sounds like a pretty winning solution to dehydration!
Download A Water Tracking App
Setting yourself a daily goal of how much water you are going to drink is great! But how are you supposed to achieve that goal if you’re not accurately measuring your success? Installing an app, such as Daily Water Free or Carbodroid to your cellular device helps you not only track the water you’ve drunk but track how much more you have to go in order to achieve your daily goal.
Drink Sparkling Water
While sparkling water (or mineral water) doesn’t hydrate the body as much as plain water, it’s a better substitute as compared to regular soda or sugary drinks. Plus most sparkling or mineral water is lightly flavored, mmm. Pass the Lacroix, please!
Flavor Water With BCAA & Electrolyte Powder
Adding some flavor, especially when it has added electrolytes for hydration is always more fun, than drinking plain water. We recommend this BCAA 2:1:1 because it has added electrolytes and glutamine for hydration and recovery.
During high-intensity exercise, alkalizing minerals or electrolytes are utilized to help normalize muscle contraction and function. Without an adequate supply of electrolytes, the inflammatory response of muscles can lead to a lack of recovery and increased pain and soreness. Swolverine’s BCAAs delivers fast hydration with sodium, potassium and Vitamin B6, keeping you fueled with electrolytes throughout your workout.
Fruit Infused Water
Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring! Flavor it up with mint, strawberries, or pineapple. For more ideas, check out 27 DIY Fruit-Infused Water To Stay Hydrated by Self Magazine (yum!)
Hydrate With Food
Believe it or not, the foods you eat can actually contribute to your hydration levels. While they cannot account for all of your hydration (you must still rely on water) they can improve your body’s fluid levels naturally. Foods that can improve hydration include watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, spinach, and even broccoli. (4)
Reduce Regular Alcohol Consumption
The only beverages that don’t count toward fluid hydration in the body are alcoholic beverages. These include wine, beer, and hard liquor which all have a diuretic effect and promote the production of urine. If you are going to have a drink (or two), drink a full glass of water between each to replenish what has been lost.
Drink More Tea
Herbal teas are a great way to increase overall water consumption without avoiding caffeine altogether. Try it out - a couple days a week swap your morning coffee for a cup caffeinated tea. In the evening after dinner, opt for a floral or herbal, non-caffeinated cup of tea, as a dessert.
It’s no secret that water is important, if not the most basic and essential nutrient that your body uses every single day and in every single way. Whether it’s regulating temperature or helping you release toxins and increase oxygen production during exercise, water helps us feel and function at our very best throughout our day. When we don’t consume adequate amounts of water to not only maintain fluid homeostasis, we experience the negative side effects of our body’s thirst.
Take pride in fueling and healing your body with water. The difference is immediately notable and instantly gratifying. Take pride in your health, set some water goals, and make a plan to achieve them. The work may seem hard now, but it will in time become a habit that your body will reward you for every single day!
SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform.
We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.
- Popkin BM, D'anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439-58.
- Roberts JD, Tarpey MD, Kass LS, Tarpey RJ, Roberts MG. Assessing a commercially available sports drink on exogenous carbohydrate oxidation, fluid delivery and sustained exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014;11(1):8.
- Strachan SR, Morris LF. Management of severe dehydration. J Intensive Care Soc. 2017;18(3):251-255.
- Guelinckx I, Tavoularis G, König J, Morin C, Gharbi H, Gandy J. Contribution of Water from Food and Fluids to Total Water Intake: Analysis of a French and UK Population Surveys. Nutrients. 2016;8(10)