How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?
Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp…Wow, this is some really good water. Gulp, gulp, gulp.
Oh, hey. How’s it going? Sorry, I didn’t see you there. I was just enjoying this delicious bottled water made from a million year old glacier high above the Swiss Alps. Would you like some? No? That’s Ok. I just though you looked a little thirsty.
You know, being properly hydrated is really important for your health. Like, really, really important. And with about 60% of your body being made up of water, it’s not hard to see why.
But, with proper hydration so obviously important, do you know how much of this stuff you should really be drinking each and every day?
Don’t worry if you don’t. That’s what we’re going to be discussing here today. So if you’re ready, pull up a chair, grab your favorite sippy cup, and let’s get to it.
How Much Water Should You Really Drink Each Day?
Pretty much everyone’s heard the advice that you should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, am I right? You’re probably thinking, “Yeah. I’ve heard that.”
But is it true? Is that really the amount we should aim for everyday?
The short answer…no. It isn’t true. It’s basically just something that was made up because it was easy to remember. And it gets people thinking about water.
Honestly, no one’s really sure where the ‘drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day’ even originated from. Yet, we hear it like a broken record every summer that we need to drink that much to avoid dehydration.
Here’s the thing. Believe it or not, we get most of the water we need everyday from the foods we eat.
Yes, it’s true. Unless all you eat are saltine crackers ever day then the food you eat actually packs a good amount of water.
And believe it or not a second time, ALL beverages you drink throughout the day also count towards your total intake. Yes, even the ‘bad’ stuff like sugary juices, teas, coffee, and even alcoholic beverages.
Crazy, right? Studies have shown that you actually take in more water than you loose when consuming beverages such teas, coffee, juices, and even alcohol (as long as the alcohol is consumed in moderation).
Ok, ok. Here’s the good news. It’s actually super simple to figure out EXACTLY how much water you should be drinking each day.
Are you ready to find out how much that is? Drum role please…
The answer for how much water you should be drinking every day is…
Drink when you’re thirsty.
Wait, what? That’s it???!!!
Yes, that’s it.
Your body is super intelligent. It knows when you need water and when you don’t. If you’re not thirsty, and don’t have any other signs of dehydration such as increased thirst, dry mouth, yellowish urine, etc, then don’t worry about forcing yourself to drink water. It’s really that simple!
Think about it. How does a dog know when to drink water? What about a cat? Do you think they ever drink just because they’re worried their pee might turn yellow? No! They drink when and ONLY when they are thirsty.
The same thing holds true for pigs, goats, sheep, lions, and whatever other animal you can think of.
Then Why Are We Told To Drink That Much Water?
The bottled water industry is a $60 billion a year industry. Should I write that again? $60 billion a year! That’s insane when you consider it’s something most of us can get for free out of the tap! But, it’s also a big reason why we’re constantly told to drink so much of the stuff.
With such a huge vested interest, you can bet that the bottled water companies will say and do whatever they need to to keep you coming back for more.
For example, how many times have you heard someone say, “You better drink before you’re thirsty or it’s too late!”? I know I have at least a million and one times. Why do you think that saying gets pushed so hard???
Thirst is just a signal from your body that it’s time to take action. It’s no different than feeling hungry. Is it too late to eat once you feel hungry? Of course not.
Seriously, just using a Brita will produce better water than most bottled varieties.
But, But, But…
Look, I’m not saying you should never drink water. If I had to choose between a soda, juice, or water, I’d choose water nine times out of ten. But only because I wouldn’t want the added sugar of the first two.
Also, if you think you are dehydrated, then water is a good choice for getting you back to where you need to be. (Although again, any beverage would work.)
Yes, water is important. And for a variety of health reasons you’re probably better off choosing water over some other beverage the majority of the time. But the importance of drinking it constantly has been blown way out of proportion.
What About Sports Drinks?
The sports drink industry is roughly an $8 billion a year industry and it’s only getting bigger. Many sports drink brands now market to kids and if you haven’t heard, Gatorade just released an organic version of their sports drink.
And just like the bottled water industry, the sports drink industry spends millions of dollars a year trying to convince the public that we’d better drink more Gatorade during activity or risk becoming dehydrated.
Unfortunately, the importance of consuming sports drinks before, during, and after a sporting event has also been greatly exaggerated.
Sports drinks were originally created to help high level athletes stay hydrated during long, intense workouts.
Why? Because that’s the only time you really ever need them. For the vast majority of us, all they do is increase our calorie and sugar intake while really not benefiting us at all.
Yet, they’re marketed and sold at all kinds of sporting events and stores throughout the world because, well…you know…we “need” them.
My Final Thoughts On Water
I just want to make it clear that I’m not anti-water. I personally really like water and drink quite a bit of it most days. But I wanted to try and take away the fear factor that’s been instilled in us about not drinking enough of the stuff.
If you don’t like water, that’s fine. Don’t feel bad just because you don’t feel like drinking water 24/7. Just drink something else instead. Your body will extract the water out of whatever it is you decide to drink and make sure you are properly hydrated.
For example, regular cow’s milk is made up of between 85 and 95% water. Pour that into a glass and that’s basically a full cup of water with just a few other things added to it.
And trust me, your body won’t have any difficulty extracting all that water out for you.
Got any other questions about water, sports drinks, or the winning lotto numbers (why not, right?)? Let me know in the comments section below.
(Drops mic)…(Walks off stage)
This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.