Yelling at the kids.  Angry reactions to bad drivers.  Just feeling like the whole world is full of stupidity and aggravation.  Ever been there?  Yeah me too.
And of course there are a ton of different reasons we may get to te end of our rope on any given day.  But after finding I was often having that feeling of just uncontrollable annoyance, mixed with fatigue, I began to think about what the causes may be, and realized it may be one small detail… that becomes a HUGE deal.

Dehydration.

Yes, it’s another blog post about drinking more water…

I admit, I struggled with what to write since it seems every health and fitness blog or site has at least one article advocating drinking more water.  You may have noticed this too, but let me ask then… do you drink enough water?  Chances are not.  If you need some better motivation than “drink more water to prevent dehydration”, here are some other reasons to gulp it down:

  • Water can give you more energy and keep you in a better mood—if you notice you seem irritable, go drink a big glass of water and see if it helps balance your mood.
  • Drinking plenty of water will help keep you skin healthy and glowing.
  • Drinking water, especially a good-sized glass right before a meal, can help control your appetite—indeed, when you feel hungry, there is a good chance you are actually thirsty.  Again, drink a big glass of water first.
  • Some scientists have found that drinking cold water can help burn more calories, most likely as your body warms the water up to its internal temperature.  It’s not a huge amount, but it’s a good reason to get into a good habit!
  • Drinking water throughout the day helps flush the toxins your liver processes out.  Because, you know, it makes you pee.

Okay, full disclosure—when I said these are some other reasons to drink more water, that was not entirely accurate.   We don’t always realize the various and drastic effects dehydration can have on our bodies, but it is probably one of the easiest steps to take to improving your health if you have not been drinking enough.

Hopefully I have gotten you a little more motivated to drink more water now.  So the first question is, how much is enough?  We have always been told by the powers that be to drink eight 8-oz glasses (that is, 64 oz).  While that is a good start, research has been pointing toward half your body weight (in pounds) of ounces of water per day.  So, if you weight 128 pounds, guess what: 64 oz is a good amount!  But if you weigh 228, you should be trying to take in more water throughout the day.  You will probably need even more if you are outside on a hot day, though that doesn’t mean you can cut way back in the chillier weather.  You also need more when you exercise. My recommendation is to consider the amount of water you drink while exercising separately from your daily recommendation.  So, aim for your 64 or 114 ounces (or whatever your recommendation would be) throughout the day, PLUS drink 8-20 ounces while you are exercising (depending on length and intensity).

The good news is that while most of your fluid should be water, other drinks do count.  Juice, tea and your first cup of coffee can all be included in your total.  Soda and alcohol do NOT count.  At all.  No.  Jazzing up your water with fruit, or looking for a good flavored water without junky added ingredients (including sugar or artificial sweeteners) are excellent ways to increase your intake.

Tell me that doesn’t look refreshing!

One side note: sports drinks are not necessary for every round of exercise.  They should be saved for 1+ hours of vigorous exercise, like running a 10k.  For anything less than that, water will replenish your system just fine.

So I hope that this has given you some motivation to drink more water, if that is something you struggle with.  My # 1 recommendation is to get a good water bottle (I highly recommend Hydroflask because it keeps your water cold forever, and doesn’t condensate all over the place), and just start drinking.  Honestly, in my experience and others’, once you start drinking water, you will start enjoying it more and more, until you end up like me taking your Hydroflask with you wherever you go!