We all know that drinking water is essential to our bodies. But how much water should you really drink?
We want to consume enough water to hydrate and flush our bodies of all the junk that can build up, but we also want to avoid drinking too much water to the point that you feel like you are going to float away. Having to run to the restroom every 5 minutes is never any fun.
On the flip side, you also do not want to short yourself on water consumption. I think the main reason there is so much confusion about how much water you should be drinking is because that number is different for every person.
How Much Water Should Your Really Drink?
To figure out how much water you should be drinking, you will need to do just a little bit of arithmetic. I know, math can be a pain, but you can always lean on that lovely calculator app that is on your cell phone. Besides, this calculation is very simple.
First, take your weight and divide it by two. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, the answer is 75. That is how many ounces you should be drinking in a day. Make sure that you read about 10 Signs of Dehydration so you know what to look for.
Now that you have figured out the number of ounces you should be drinking a day, you will need to take into account a few other factors. The first one is the weather. The weather does directly impact your water consumption. If it is warmer, you sweat more. If it is colder, your body shivers more than normal.
In extreme weather conditions you should add around 16 ounces more of water to your base number to accommodate the weather conditions outside. In our example above, we would add 16 to our base number of 75. This brings us to 91 ounces of water in one day. That number seems like a lot, but don’t let it bring you down. If you stay on top of drinking water throughout the day you should have no problem consuming the amount of water your body needs.
If You Exercise
Another factor you need to adjust for is exercise. When you exercise, you lose fluids. Replacing those lost fluids is so important. If you do not consume enough water when you exercise, it can lead to headaches and muscle cramps. Depending on how long you exercise for will depend on how long you exercise. I would allow for a minimum of 8 ounces a day more for every hour of moderate exercise. If you take a hike on a warm summer day and it takes 2 hours, add 16 to your number count.
For all of those nursing moms out there, the general guideline to keep you hydrated is to stick to a minimum of 10, 8 ounce glasses a day, which is 80 ounces of water. You also want to take into account the weather as well as the amount of exercise you take on.
How About Kids?
And children should drink 1 ounce per pound of body weight. So a 50lb child would need to drink 50 ounces of water a day. This can be tricky, but make sure that you are offering water with every meal and through out the day.
How Do You Know If You’re Doing It Right?
A great indicator of hydration is the color of your pee. The darker it is, the more water you need. Start off slow and steady and try to take sips of water here and there. As you increase your water intake your urine color will lighten. It should be very pale towards the end of the day.
Remember to reach those water consuming goals, you can only count plain water. If you drink coffee, tea, lemonade, or a drink with any ingredient besides water, it does not count towards to your number.
To help keep myself and my family hydrated I make sure everyone has their own portable water bottles. I like this one from Klean Kanteen for me and my husband. This Kid’s Klean Kanteen is great for kiddos. There are a ton of different colors to choose from and these bottles keep the water cool for a long period of time.
It helps to have a portable bottle on hand so we can take it with us when we are on the go. The fact that it is spill proof is also great. Every parent knows the value of a good lid!
We also have a water service that delivers bottled water to us on a monthly basis so we always have clean, cold water on hand that the kids can access easily…check out the services in your area…it’s not that expensive!
How do you make sure you and your family drink enough water?