The Wonderful Benefits Of Water And Easy Tips To Drink Up

by Stephanie Skinner-Lucas, MS, RD, LDN

Last Updated: May 20, 2021

Ahhh! Nothing like the cool refreshing experience of water going down your throat and feeling energized by it on a hot summer day. Yet, when asked about water consumption, many people will say, “I don’t drink enough.” Get ready to discover, or rediscover, the health benefits of water and simple ways to quench your thirst!

Let us start by reviewing the function of water in the body.

Water helps your body:
  • Keep a normal temperature
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
  • Prevent overall dehydration
  • Keep skin bright
  • Improve mood

Did you know up to 60% of the human adult body is water? The brain and heart are 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water, the skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and even bones are 31% water.

There are many reasons that someone might not drink enough water. Let’s explore a few of those reasons and discuss some easy solutions:
  1. I don’t like the taste.
    • Jazz up your water with lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber slices. They add a refreshing taste and make your glass more inviting.
    • Infuse water with fresh berries, pineapple, or melon, or freeze bits of fruit in ice cube trays for a subtle flavor and unique appearance.
    • Enhance water with fresh mint leaves, ginger, cilantro, or the herb of your choice.
    • Try sparkling water or seltzer if you prefer some fizz to quench your thirst and provide a welcome change from flat water.
    • Adding no-calorie flavor packets or drops can liven up that glass of water to entice you to reach for more.
    • Simply add a water filter directly to faucets and/or use water filtering pitchers to remove any unusual taste.
  2. I don’t think about it.
    • Place a decorative glass or bottle of water on your desk or in a visible location that you pass by frequently as a reminder to head to the kitchen to fill up and drink!
    • Keep a colorful sticky note on your desk or place an inspiring fact about water as a recurring event on your calendar at the start of your day.
    • Set a timer every 2-3 hours or daily talking alarm on your electronic device to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
    • Find an app on your electronic device to get you energized to drink more water and track your intake.
    • Drink a glass or bottle of water when reaching for a snack or consuming a meal to increase your hydration.
  3. It will make me go to the bathroom too often.
    This is a valid point for a short time only. The body adapts. It just takes a few days for your body to get accustomed to being properly hydrated. Once this happens, your body will instinctively better utilize water, and your bladder will get stronger. How about challenging your body on the next 3-day weekend to start drinking more so you can return to work hydrated and healthier!

This brings up another great question, “How much water do I need daily?” Of course, this varies for each person based upon several factors:
  • Hotter climate
  • More physically active
  • Running a fever
  • Having diarrhea or vomiting
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • Certain medical conditions/diagnosis

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, for the average healthy adult living in a temperate climate, adequate daily fluid intake from both food and beverages is:
  • About 15.5 cups of fluid (125 ounces/3.7 liters) for men daily
  • About 11.5 cups of fluid (91 ounces/2.7 liters) for women daily

Most fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. Some foods that you eat, especially many fruit and vegetables (watermelon, celery, lettuce, cantaloupe, etc.), have high water content, accounting for about 20% of daily water intake.

If you find yourself falling a little short on hydration, here are some fun and simple ways to increase your water consumption:
  • Carry a colorful and/or motivational water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Choose water over sugary drinks.
  • Order water when eating out. This will result in reduced calories and more money in your wallet.
  • Serve refreshing water during meals and with snacks.
  • Freeze some freezer-safe water bottles to take with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Create a water challenge to compete with a friend or family member.
  • For every non-water beverage consumed, drink 1-2 cups of water.
  • Drink an 8 oz cup of water right after you wake up and before bed.
  • Drink 1 glass of water before each meal which could equate to 3 cups.
  • Set a daily goal which can aid in making another healthy lifestyle habit.
  • Eat more foods high in fluid content-talk about double duty to impact your overall health.

You have the ammunition to boost your water game daily. Get ready to grab that container of water with confidence. Set a new standard by choosing water over sugary beverages as much as possible. Have some fun this season with family and friends making water the beverage of choice!

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Stephanie Skinner-Lucas, MS, RD, LDN

Stephanie Skinner-Lucas, MS, RD, LDN

Stephanie is a proactive dietitian who believes healthy lifestyle changes are made one habit at a time. Small intentional steps early in life can lead to long-term victories for the rest of your life. With a background from geriatric nutrition to meal planning, renal disease to weight management, Stephanie has had the opportunity to serve many populations. She believes success is achieved by listening, mentoring and partnering with each individual to find what they need to live their healthiest life. Stephanie loves preparing meals with spice, crunch & texture that awakens the palate! In her free time, she enjoys helping others, walking for charity and improving her golf swing.