Have you ever bumped into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while to find them looking leaner, more youthful and generally healthy? If you asked them what their secret was, they might have said something just like “just the basics — and a lot more water.” Sound familiar? There’s a reason water is called “the elixir of life.” Our bodies are made up of 60% water, and it is essential to both the functioning and performance of every single cell. Insufficient water may not prevent our cells from doing their job entirely, but it prevents them from doing it well. That means oxygen is not circulating to your major organs as efficiently (brain fog), muscles take longer to recover (soreness, fatigue), your body can’t regulate its own temperature as well, and toxins may not flush from your system in as timely a fashion, among other factors.
So why do the majority of us not drink enough water? It could be because, as we age, we replace water with many other fluids, including those that suppress thirst (caffeine) or weaken our receptiveness to it (alcohol). Or we don’t have enough hydrating foods in our diets. It could also be that many adults don’t know the more subtle signs of insufficient water intake, the ones that come before true thirst, including chapped lips, bad breath, tendency to catch colds, moodiness, mental fogginess, and more.
Understanding how to maintain an ideal level of hydration is something most of us have to practice, and it starts with knowing how much water to drink and what foods to eat as well as how to recognize when you’re dehydrated.
Join this 21-day challenge to receive day-by-day tasks for maximizing your hydration, like how to adjust your diet, drinking cadence, schedule and more.
Before running off to buy yet another water bottle you'll never use, take a moment to think through the following: What about my past bottles didn't seem to work for me? Some important thing to consider:
See Through vs. Not See Through If you're someone who likes to see what's going on in there, whether how much you drank or how clean the bottom is, go for a clear bottle.
Size Not interested in running back and forth to the water pitcher all day? Try something larger like a 32 oz. bottle.
Measuring Aspect Want to know how much you drank? Go for one with a ruler along the side or a fancy new digital variety that keeps track for you.
Spout Many are picky about the spout. Some prefer a spill-proof squeeze bottle or narrow spout, while others prefer a wide-mouthed spout. A small but important distinction!