Drinking water consistently and in sufficient quantities can be… hard (and a little boring)! But as hard as it may be for us to remember, 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 is the importance of water? Why do we need water? And most importantly how do you make drinking water more fun? Questions like these are especially important for active bodies, including yours! The more energy you expend, the more water you'll ultimately need.
In this article, we're going to cover not only the importance of consistently consuming water but actually learning how to enjoy it by making it more fun. Because water can be boring.
Why Is Water Important?
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.
Why Should You Drink Water?
Dehydration. Nobody is exempt from being dehydrated. Dehydration is serious business and it doesn’t take much to get there. 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 But sometimes, water isn’t enough to rehydrate you and your active body.
8 Simple Ways To Make Drinking Water More Fun
1. Drink Plain Water
Drinking plain water is definitely NOT the most fun, but it's the best for you. Plain water is the best way to drink water for maximum hydration. We recommend a good bottled or filtered water to avoid harmful toxins and unpurified water. Your body will thank you every time you drink it, making it easier to hydrate throughout the day!
2. Supplement Some Flavor
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.
3. Drink a Glass with Every Meal
Sometimes, it can be hard to drink water consistently throughout the day. Drink a glass of water every time you eat (or every time you use the bathroom) and before you know it you’ll be in a great habit, not to mention, you’ll be more hydrated consistently throughout your day!
4. Use an 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.
5. 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.
6. Add Your Own Natural Flavor
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!)
7. Eat Real 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)
8. Reduce Alcohol Intake
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.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
When we fail to provide our body with regularly adequate levels of water, we risk the body’s ability to perform normal functions with ease. Dehydration set’s in when your body loses too much water without replacement.
Mild dehydration signs and symptoms include (but not limited to):
- dry mouth
- cracked lips
- minimal/dark urine
- a headache
Extreme dehydration can become a life-threatening experience relatively quickly with signs and symptoms such as:
- 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.
Sometimes Water Just Isn’t Enough
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.
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.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that men drink about 15.5 cups of fluids daily while women consume about 11.5 cups. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Good news, about 20% of that recommended intake will end up coming from foods (fruits and veggies) while the rest will come from various liquids including plain water, coffee, tea, and otherwise.
Factors that affect your RDI of water include your overall health, how much you exercise, your environment extreme hot and cold environments) pregnancy and preexisting health conditions.
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)
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!
Need something delicious to drink while you workout?
Quench your thirst and hydrate during your workout with our BCAA 2:1:1 Hydration. It comes in a delicious lemon-lime flavor to help you hydrate, rebuild, and recover.
- 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)