H2O: Just drink water
Growing up I have always been told to drink water because my body needed it. I just accepted the fact I needed to hydrate and never questioned why. Then earlier this semester, a friend introduced me to an app called Plant Nanny where you track a personalized amount of water to drink daily and my curiosity peaked. I wanted to know: why did the app indicate my body needed 100 ounces of water each day to remain hydrated? In searching for more information I discovered how to calculate how much you should actually drink and the benefits of drinking as much water as your body needs.
Calculating the right amount
For starters, I knew that I needed to drink about 100 ounces, but I was curious how an app got that amount after I only entered my age and weight. A friend studying nutrition explained that a common rule of thumb to think about is the 8×8 rule: drink eight ounces of water eight times a day. However, that is just a general answer and isn’t specified for each person’s body. He explained that more specifically, women should have nine ounces, eight times per day while men should have eleven ounces. He went on to say that there are factors that can affect that number such as where you live and how humid it is there, how healthy you are, and how much you exercise and sweat.
Reaping the benefits
After I discovered how much water I needed daily, I was interested in the benefits that would help my body if I drank that much water. To begin with, I knew that over half of my body was made up of water, so clearly it is a necessary thing to keep up with. My friend informed me that water is essential for organs such as kidneys and other bodily functions, such as flushing out waste through urination and sweat. Water also helps to transfer nutrients throughout our bodies.
What interested me most is how remaining hydrated can help with overall beauty. It helps to hydrate skin, and dehydrated skin can lead to skin disorders and wrinkling. Drinking water increases the water that is in your skin cells which can in turn help you to appear younger. It also helps with weight loss. Instead of selecting a sugary and sweetened soda, beverages that lead to weight gain, opt for water instead, especially before a meal. Drinking one glass about 30 minutes before eating can help to suppress appetite and can prevent overeating.
Finally, water can help give you energy. Dehydration can potentially lead to fatigue; staying hydrated can help you to remain energized. Water assists oxygen flow to the brain. Dehydration can force the heart to pump double time in order to properly pump oxygen to your entire body. This can make you less alert and more tired.
After hearing about all the amazing benefits of drinking water, I instantly started making sure I was drinking the right amount each day. I learned there is even a hidden way to get as much water as your body needs if over 70 ounces sounds like a lot. “Eating your water” is a secret way to get hydrated without actually drinking water. Cucumber, celery, watermelon, and spinach all have over 90% water content and eating them is an easy way to remain hydrated.
After hearing about the wonderful things water can do for my body if I drink 100 ounces daily, I began to wonder what would motivate me to keep up these healthy habits. Plant Nanny was an easy way to track my daily water intake, and I bought a colorful water bottle that I covered in some awesome stickers. I also began to increase my intake of foods such as cucumbers and spinach. Because drinking the right amount of water for my body each day can allow my skin to be hydrated and my brain to stay alert, I now try to stay as hydrated as possible. Our bodies need a certain amount of water to remain hydrated and by figuring out just how much your body needs, you too can get hydrated and stay healthy!