Are you drinking enough water?

May 23, 2024

Water keeps you hydrated, your body functioning and can even help with weight loss

As the hottest months on the calendar approach, it’s important now more than ever to get into the routine of staying hydrated.

The best way to do that? Drink plenty of fluids. And the best fluid for your body? Water.

“There’s not actually a recommended daily amount of water intake, but total fluid intake,” says Tori Thomas, dietitian at the Candler Hospital Wellness Center. “However, with total fluid intake, I always recommend it comes from mostly water.”

Tori Thomas, SJ/C dietitian

Other fluids can come from foods and drinks you consume during the day including coffee, electrolyte drinks, soda, tea and soups.

How much fluid and what kind of fluids you need per day depends on many factors including activity level, sweat loss, body mass and daily caloric intake. For the general healthy population, if someone is on a 2,000-calorie diet, about eight and a half cups of fluid per day would be a great goal.

Water is one of the body’s essential nutrients and is the cornerstone for all bodily functions. It is the most abundant substance in the body, averaging 60 percent of body weight.

“Water is very essential for your metabolism, cell function, temperature regulation, circulatory function, aiding with digestion and then preventing dehydration,” Thomas says. “Staying hydrated can help decrease fatigue, improve gastrointestinal function and improve alertness, cognition and mood.”

When you continuously do not get enough fluid, it can result in mood changes, overheating (especially if you are outside a lot), constipation and even major kidney issues. Signs that you may be dehydrated or not getting enough fluid include:

  • Super dry mouth and tongue
  • Headaches
  • Dry skin
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of focus

So what can you do to drink enough water?

If you don’t think you are getting enough water or want to incorporate more water into your diet, try these tips:

  • First, set realistic, small goals to achieve throughout the day and then expand upon those goals.
  • Carry a water bottle with you for easy access wherever you go.
    • They even make water bottles with times on them to help you remember and encourage you to drink more water.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or calendar to remind yourself to drink water.
  • Buy a nice, new water bottle that you want to regularly use.
  • Add fresh flavor to your water with things such as lemons, cucumbers and mint. You can keep a pitcher in your refrigerator and switch out flavors.
  • Try sparkling or flavored waters, just pay attention to the amount of added sugar and calories. It’s OK in moderation.
  • Drink electrolyte drinks, again in moderation, and try to choose the no or lite-sugar flavors.

Need extra motivation? Drinking water also can help with weight loss and weight management.

“So drinking water isn’t going to magically make you lose weight – because that is going to be related to the number of calories you consume – but water consumption can help with weight management, especially when you replace caloric beverages, such as sweet teas, sodas and sugary juices, with non-caloric options, such as unsweet tea, water with lemon or water by itself.”

Thomas encourages folks if they ever have questions about their daily fluid intake or daily calorie intake, to talk to a dietitian. At the Candler Hospital Wellness Center, we offer nutrition outpatient counseling services. Learn more on our website.



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