The Beginner’s Guide to Staying Hydrated

Why you need water, how much you need to drink every day, and how to make sure you are getting enough.

Why do we need to drink so much water? First of all, every single cell in our body requires water to function.(1) From our brain, to our gut, to our heart, and our nervous system. Every system and function within that system requires water.(1–5) Without water we become dehydrated and it can lead to inflammation or worsen pre-existing chronic diseases that we have.(6–8) Staying properly hydrated throughout the day also encourages healthy gut functioning, reduces constipation, and reduces risk of heart disease.(5,7,8)

The Beginner's Guide to Hydration

Photo credit: Samara Doole

Water consumption isn’t a one size fits all and I can understand how annoying it is when someone tries to tell you that you need to drink 2L of water a day. Every person has different water requirements. From age, height, sex, weight, to the amount of exercise you do each day will change the requirement of water your body needs. So how do you find out exactly how much water you need each day? This website has a really useful tool where you can input your information relevant to you to find out what you need.

The Beginner's Guide to Hydration

Photo credit: Johnny McClung

So, what’s the easiest way to actually get enough water every day? And what if I can’t drink plain, ol’ boring water?

Allied Wellness asks Naturopath, Cat Standley from Naked Wellness how she stays well hydrated;

“I find the easiest way to make sure I drink enough water throughout the day is with herbal teas. In Winter, this is pretty much all I drink, that and vitamin C water. In the Summer though I make an iced herbal tea that I keep in the fridge and just make sure my bottle is full throughout the day.”

The Beginner's Guide to Hydration

Photo credit: Jennifer Pallain

“I also make sure I pack lots of high-water content veggies for snacks that I take to work. Yes, fresh produce can also contribute to your daily water intake. And the best thing about fruits and veggies is not only are they jam-packed with antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins but they also contain the minerals (or electrolytes) required for the cells in your body to uptake the water into your body, or in simpler words, rehydrate you.”

“Upon rising in the morning, it’s also a really good idea to kickstart your digestive system and hydration with a glass of water and lemon juice, especially after all that sleep has slowed everything down. Lemon juice has lots of electrolytes and vitamin C to help get your day started.”

The Beginner's Guide to Hydration

Photo credit: Daiga Ellaby

Thank you Cat for sharing your helpful tips.

What are some of your favourite ways to stay hydrated? Join us on Facebook to share your ideas. We’d love to hear from you.

References

1. National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand [Internet]. Water. 2006 [cited 2019 Mar 18]. p. 51–5. Available from: https://www.nrv.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/n35-water_0.pdf
2. Guelinckx I, Barnouin R, Pross N, Perrier E, Metzger D, Demazières A, et al. Effects of Changes in Water Intake on Mood of High and Low Drinkers. PLoS One [Internet]. 2014;9(4):e94754. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3984246/pdf/pone.0094754.pdf
3. McDermott BP, Anderson SA, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, Cheuvront SN, Cooper L, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active. J Athl Train [Internet]. 2017;52(9):877–95. Available from: http://natajournals.org/doi/10.4085/1062-6050-52.9.02
4. Popkin BM, Rosenberg IH, D’Anci KE. Water Hydration & Health. Nutr Rev [Internet]. 2011;68(8):439–58. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/pdf/nihms210404__1.pdf
5. El-Sharkawy AM, Sahota O, Lobo DN. Acute and chronic effects of hydration status on health. Nutr Rev [Internet]. 2015;73:97–109. Available from: https://watermark.silverchair.com/nuv038.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAmEwggJdBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggJOMIICSgIBADCCAkMGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQM80R1ZwVi2c8H11HsAgEQgIICFJtSaxU-LT9Ki8jXzy5jDeSI34n39FjG2a_eHe58q8VCRbaa
6. Anonymous. Mythbusting: Hydration. Health and Nutrition Letter [Internet]. 2019;7–9. Available from: https://search.proquest.com/openview/6ab6e92b6b36e399b9fd889c64d6c2db/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=30886
7. Manz F. Hydration and Disease. J Am Coll Nutr [Internet]. 2007;26(5):535S-541S. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921462
8. Manz F, Wentz A. The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutr Rev [Internet]. 2005;63(6):6–13. Available from: https://journals-scholarsportal-info.proxy.queensu.ca/pdf/00296643/v63inone_s/s6_tioghfdh.xml

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IMPORTANT: The information on this website does not replace a face-to-face relationship with your medical professional or healthcare practitioner. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided in this website.