We have all heard the adage advising us, for optimal health, to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Some of us have taken this advice quite literally; including my brother who would line up exactly eight glasses of water filled with precisely eight ounces and down his daily dose of H2O in a hurried health frenzy. I am sure that is not what the creators of the guideline intended. I believe it was merely an easy way to remember to drink a good portion of water every day. Although it is a great start, optimization of your water consumption takes a bit more digging.
There are several factors to consider when determining how much water you should drink in a day including age, sex, health, level of activity, and the region in which you live. But, for a starting point, according to the Mayo Clinic :
Men should drink 125 ounces of water per day
Women should drink 91 ounces of water per day
Keep in mind this is total water intake of which no more than 20% should come from food and other beverage sources such as coffee and milk. In short, 80% of the amounts listed above should be from the good stuff – straight up H20. These values should be further adjusted according to your workout schedule. As you sweat your fluid levels drop quickly and must be replaced accordingly. We recommend an additional 12 ounces on those sweaty days. Also, if you live, work or play in a hot, humid or high altitude area, the same addition should be made. Another factor affecting your hydration needs is your health. If you are suffering from a fever or the flu, high water levels are essential to keep your body strong enough to fight off the infection. Finally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consider drinking more water per day.
Please know that these rules are not set in stone if any of these particular conditions apply to you, consult a doctor for further advice. It is possible, but rare, to drink too much water so do not consider more as being better in all situations.
Another easy guide for calculating your water intake is this formula:
weight x .67 = ounces you should drink in a day 
I like this method because it automatically factors in a weight differential rather than a generic male versus female conversion. I shall not reveal my weight as any proper lady would but, I will tell you that my calculation came out slightly higher than the Mayo Clinic recommendation.
You may be thinking, how the heck am I going to remember to drink that much water? I assure you, it will become a non-factor after a couple of weeks of incorporating a few easy habits into your life including:
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up every day. Your body has lost a tremendous amount of hydration throughout the night, be kind and replace it promptly.
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times especially, at your desk or as you travel. Eventually, you will feel naked without it.
- Try taking a sip or refilling your water bottle at every water fountain you pass. This is a sure fire way to keep a steady flow of H20 in your system.
- Drink a glass of water with every meal and to take it up a notch keep a chilled pitcher at the table, ready for refills.
All of this effort to drink the correct amount of water will leave your body functioning as nature intended. You will experience a myriad of health benefits from glowing skin to a happy heart and adequately lubricated joints.
Drink up…for your health!
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