Are You Drinking Enough Water?
With temperatures and humidity now rising, it is the perfect time to quickly assess (and likely increase) the amount of water and fluids you are drinking. Water makes up over 80 percent of our body, from our bones, to muscles, and blood – which makes it so essential that we consume enough to stay fit and healthy.
Did you know that drinking enough water doesn’t only keep you hydrated and quench your thirst? Water plays an essential role and aids in metabolism (how your body processes food and nutrients), prevents fatigue, supports liver detoxification, improves joint health, and allows for improved cellular health.
Below are 5 signs that you may not be drinking enough water:
- You’re more fatigued than usual
- You have more anxiety
- You have constant headaches
- Your allergies are worse than ever
- You have concentrated urine
Have a couple of the above signs and symptoms of dehydration? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It is estimated that over 75 percent of all Americans are in a state of chronic dehydration. While the age-old adage that you should drink eight glasses of water a day is a good start, for many of us, especially those of us who live in the Lake Norman area with the high humidity, eight glasses isn’t nearly enough.
The most common estimate of how much water you should be consuming (thanks to the Mayo Clinic) is calculated by:
- Taking your weight (in pounds) and dividing it by 2.2
- Multiply that number depending on your age:
- If you’re younger than 30, multiply by 40
- If you’re between 30 and 55, multiply by 35
- If you’re older than 55, multiply by 30
- Divide that number by 28.3
- That number is how many ounces you should drink every day.
Keep in mind however, that you do, in fact, gain water by eating foods such as celery, lettuce, tomato, watermelon, and strawberries, just to name a few.
It has been proven that, by the time you feel the sensation of being thirsty, you are already extremely dehydrated. Not only do you start feeling fatigued, cranky, or anxious, your brain actually shrinks when you’re at this level of dehydration – just think what this can do to your memory and concentration.
Tips to consuming enough water throughout the day:
- Drink at least two glasses of water first thing in the morning when you wake up, and one to two glasses before and during each meal.
- Get into the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle that you can continue to top off and refill throughout the day, no matter where you are.
- If you need more motivation, you can set a timer on your phone to alert and remind you of your goal. There are also plenty of Apps that make water tracking fun – Plant Nanny comes to mind.
- You can always flavor your water by adding slices of lime, lemon, strawberry, or even a sprig of fresh mint!
Make sure you do what you can to get enough water throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at the results!
A native of Sheffield, England, Matthew Turner moved to North Carolina in 2016, with his wife Rachael, and has worked in an outpatient orthopedic setting, specializing in manual therapy. Matt is the Facility Director and lead physical therapist for the PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, Charlotte location. Matt's clinical expertise focuses on outpatient orthopedics, post-operative conditions, concussion, and sports/work-related injuries. Matt underwent post-graduate training with NAIOMT and is a Certified Manual Physical Therapist. He is also certified in Dry Needling and Blood Flow Restriction Training.