(RxWiki News) One of the first steps to being healthy is being hydrated, but many adults are chronically dehydrated. Here's how to get more water in your day.
We've all heard the numbers before. It's common wisdom that somewhere around 75 percent of people in the US are chronically dehydrated. While that figure may be overestimated — a 2021 study found that it isn't supported in published studies — it's true that many people are dehydrated. That 2021 study found that up to 28 percent of older adults are chronically dehydrated.
Why does this matter? Because water is the foundation of countless processes and reactions inside the body. In other words, water is one of key ingredients of health.
But for some people, getting enough water each day is a challenge. Here are some simple ways to add more water to your day.
Healthy Drink Swaps
If you're drinking sugary drinks more than water, you may have two problems on your hands: You may not be getting enough water, and you may be getting too much sugar. The good news is that there's an easy solution: Drink water instead of sugary drinks like sodas and juices.
Of course, that may be easier said than done. If you feel like you rely on those sugary drinks at this point, start small. Instead of going all water all the time, try swapping one of your daily sodas for a glass of water. After you're comfortable with that, swap another, and so on.
Even if you don't like the taste of water, there are many ways to get your recommended daily fluid intake. Here are some ideas to increase your intake:
- Add lemon or cucumber slices to water to make the taste more appealing.
- Add electrolyte drink mixes to water.
- Drink flavored sparkling water.
- Drink low-fat milk, teas or low-sugar juices.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as watermelon, spinach and celery.
Creating New Habits
Sometimes, struggling to get enough water isn't about not liking water — it's just that you're not in the habit of drinking water all the time. If that's the issue, here are some suggestions to make the new habit stick:
- Use your phone to set alarms throughout the day to remind you to drink water.
- Set a water bottle by your bed.
- Pour a glass of water to have with every meal and snack.
Bring Water with You
If you always have water nearby, you're probably going to be more likely to drink it. So, when you leave for work in the morning, bring a water bottle with you. Keep it near your desk and near you in general throughout the day.
To make the water more appealing for all-day use, try freezing the bottle overnight so it stays ice-cold all day long.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
On average, the recommended daily fluid intake for men is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women.
However, the recommended daily water intake is different for everyone — water consumption is not one size fits all. Factors like how hot and humid it is outside, how much you exercise, your sweat rate, how active you are and pregnancy will determine how much water you should drink.
That's why it's important to speak with your health care provider about the amount of water you should drink every day.