How much water should I drink? Conventional wisdom says that we should drink 8 glasses of 8 oz a day. Since we are all different sizes and livedifferent lifestyles, a more individualized approach will likely serve you better. I'll give you an easy prescription at the end.
Why should we focus on hydration? Can't I just drink when I'm thirsty? If we were all super in tune with our bodies, I'd say yes, that is likely a good approach. Take my teenager for example. One day I asked him at dinner how much water he had that day. His answer...zero. He had not consumed any liquids that day. And he was talking about his mouth being dry. Go figure. I can tell you from personal experience too, sometimes I'm just busy and don't stop to check in on how my body is doing. Because of that, it's good to have a target that we can measure each day.
It's important to do so because water, obviously, is something we need to live. Our body will not optimally function without it. Water has been shown to:
-Help lubricate joints and body tissues. Ask a massage therapist. Hydrated muscles just move better.
-Aid in waste elimination.
-Increase lipolysis. That means it helps us burn more fat. If you are trying to lose weight, drinking enough water will not only help you feel a little fuller but actually helps your body be more efficient at burning fat.
Ok, so water does a lot in the body. How much should I drink? Aim for .5 to 1 oz of water for each pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs, drink between 75 and 150 oz of water. If you have a more sedentary job and lifestyle, closer to .5 oz is ok. If you regularly engage in intense exercise (like CrossFit), then perhaps youshould aim for closer to 1 oz of water. Make sure you are also consuming electrolytes (including/or salt) so that your body is able to absorb the water.
If you haven't been drinking near this much before, you might feel like you are going to the bathroom all day long. That will decrease a bit after a few days of your body adjusting. And I guarantee you will start feeling a little better giving your body the hydration it needs!