It’s a big question, but a very important one we should ask and answer in proper hydration – every day.
How do I know how much water to drink daily? Your daily water-drinking intake depends on a variety of factors, including how much you weigh, how much you exercise, and where you live. For those of us living at higher elevations, proper water consumption and hydration become even more important.
What are the Benefits of Drinking Water?
Keeping our bodies hydrated has an abundance of health and wellness benefits. In this list, Harvard Health Publishing outlines many of them:
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- aiding digestion
- preventing constipation
- normalizing blood pressure
- stabilizing the heartbeat
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
Finding an Adequate Daily Fluid Intake
Determining how much water you need in a day, again, varies depending on your personal body mechanics, exercise output, environment, and climate, but the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day for women. “These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.”
For some, it can be easier to focus on avoiding dehydration than fixating on how much water you’re consuming.
5 Tips for Staying Hydrated at Elevation
1. Have a favorite water bottle, and carry it with you.
Plastered in stickers, sleekly designed, glass, BPA-free plastic, cup-holder friendly – adopt a favorite water bottle and try to have it with you as often as possible. It’s an easy way to help you remember to drink water frequently and to measure how much you’ve consumed.
2. Add some flavor to your water.
If you don’t love the taste or have a hard time drinking water plain, consider adding some healthy flavors. A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning is an excellent way to jump start your system. Fill a jug with cucumber or strawberry slices for some mild but inviting infusion. Fresh herbs and essences are another way to make that glass taste half-full.
3. Crack a can of soda water.
Soda water is very hydrating and can be a great way to complement the daily hydration grind. If you’re concerned about the recycling pile growing too large with empty aluminum cans, it’s worth considering an at-home carbonated water maker such as SodaStream.
4. Make water a part of your morning and evening routine.
When you get up, drink a glass of water, and then drink another eight ounces before you go to bed. It’s an easy way to add an additional 16 ounces to your daily intake.
5. Is it possible to drink too much water?
Yes, however, it is extremely rare and pretty hard for the average person to do. Too much water in your system can inhibit your kidneys’ ability to get rid of excess water, diluting the sodium content of your blood, resulting in a condition known as hyponatremia. It’s most commonly seen in extreme athletes who drink large quantities of water during training.
Choose your healthy journey to receive the information you want to reach your goals.
Aspen Valley Hospital has a wealth of classes, events and workshops to educate and empower our extraordinary community as we reach the summit together.
If you want to continue to drink and eat healthier, Aspen Valley Hospital’s dietitians have pro tips as part of their Dietitian Demo series.
Interested to know how much water you should be drinking on an average day?
Take a look at our daily water calculator so you can determine the exact amount for your weight and height.