How much water do you need to drink every day? Eight ounce? Half an ounce per pound of body weight? Should you walk around with a hydro pack on your back all day?

However much water you’re drinking, it’s probably not enough

However much water you’re drinking, it’s probably not enough

This week we'll try to dip our toes into this conversation. 

Look around and you'll likely notice that almost everyone you see is carrying around a water bottle everywhere they go. In fact, as of 2017 water has overtaken soda as the most popular drink in America.

The body is about 60% water and you're constantly losing it. When you breathe it's coming out, you sweat, you pee.  So that needs to be replaced throughout the day. But the answer as to how much isn't as simple as the eight ounce recommendation we all grew up with.  Individual factors need to be taken into account, activity level, overall health, gender etc. 

For the purposes of this article, rather than giving specific advise on how much to drink, let's take a look at goals and how water can help with those goals.

Weight Loss (increased metabolism)

According to published studies, drinking 17 ounces of water can boost your metabolism by up to 30% for up to an hour an a half after. NCBI

Another study shows that consuming cold water may force your body to expend more energy to heat the water. More energy expended means more calories burned. These researchers found that drinking 68 ounces a day increased calorie usage by 96 calories a day. (that's about a pound of calories every 36 days).

While that may not seem like a lot, it's not, I think the most promising information is in relation to the impact of calorie consumption post water.  One study found that when an individual drank a 17 ounce glass of water before a meal they lost 44% more weight over a 12 week period than those who didn't.

More effective workouts

The water you drink helps your cells maintain a proper balance of fluids and electrolytes. When that balance is off your workouts will suffer because your muscles will fatigue faster.  The ACSM recommends you drink about 17 ounces about 2 hours before you work out and then keep up the intake throughout the workout to replace fluid lost by sweating.  If you don't believe you lose water while you workout, try this. Weight in before your workout. Don't drink anything during the workout and weight yourself again when your done.  The weight loss you'll see is literally water weight. 

Detox (keep your kidneys clean)

Here's the dirty truth. Water helps to transport waste out of cells keeping your blood clean. The primary source of waste, read toxins, in your body is called blood urea nitrogen. This is a water soluble waste which is passed through the kidneys and then expelled out. When you drink enough, the system works. When you don't, those toxins build up. 

If you want to check in to see if you're getting enough liquid to expel the toxins, check your pee. It should be light and free from odor.  If it's not, you need to drink more. 

How much water should you drink everyday?  Well, that depends.  As long as you know your goals and pay attention to your body you should be good. And remember, about 20% of fluid intake comes from foods, or should.  So eat more fruits and vegetables. 

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