Water: How Much Do I Really Need to Drink?

Water is the elixir of life. Without it, survival is impossible past a few days. But what you might not know is that dehydration will affect your sleep, cognitive function, digestion and exercise performance! Staying hydrated is not just essential; it’s vital for overall health. In fact, we’d argue that water is the most crucial nutrient of them all. Let’s explore why.

What Water Does In Your Body

  1. Cell Function: Every cell in your body relies on water. It’s the medium through which nutrients are transported and waste products are removed.
  2. Blood Composition: Water constitutes a significant portion of your blood. It ensures efficient circulation and oxygen delivery.
  3. Joint Cushioning: Water cushions your joints, allowing smooth movement and preventing wear and tear.
  4. Digestion Aid: Proper digestion depends on adequate hydration. Water helps break down food and supports nutrient absorption.
  5. Blood Pressure and Heart Health: Staying hydrated helps regulate blood pressure and maintain a steady heartbeat.
  6. Temperature Regulation: Sweating cools your body during exercise or hot weather, preventing overheating.
  7. Electrolyte Balance: Water ensures the right balance of essential minerals (electrolytes) in your body.

The Perils of Dehydration

Dehydration has serious consequences:

  • Mood and Concentration: Dehydration impairs mood and focus.
  • Physical Endurance: Lack of water reduces physical performance and may make you feel weaker or less fit during workouts.
  • Health Risks: Dehydration increases the risk of kidney stones, constipation, and heat stroke.
  • Sleep: Lack of adequate hydration can contribute to imbalanced melatonin levels, dry mucous membranes in the nose and mouth and can contribute to snoring.
  • Digestion: Water is what keeps fecal matter moving through your digestive tract. Dehydration will lead to lack of nutrient absorption and constipation.

Finding the Right Balance

While too little water is dangerous, so is excessive consumption. The old “8×8” rule (eight 8-ounce glasses per day) isn’t universally applicable. Instead, your individual needs have to be considered:

  1. Thirst Mechanism: Listen to your body. Thirst is a reliable indicator of hydration needs. Some people are more thirsty than others. That’s not a bad thing, just something to potentially be aware of you are the not thirsty type because you could be under consuming water.
  2. Urine Color: Dark urine signals dehydration. Lighter urine indicates proper hydration.
  3. Sweating and Climate: Hot climates and intense physical activity increase your need for water.
  4. Specific Groups: Breastfeeding moms, the elderly, and those prone to kidney stones need extra hydration.
  5. Vomiting and Diarrhea: These conditions rapidly deplete water; replenish accordingly.

Beyond Plain Water

All fluids and water-containing foods contribute to hydration. Here are some other things to consider:

  1. Pure Water: Opt for water whenever possible. It’s the gold standard for hydration. BUT we recommend using a quality water filter and adding electrolytes to improve both hydration status and to ensure adequate consumption of essential minerals our current water supply lacks.
  2. Other Beverages: While caffeine was once considered a dehydrator, moderate coffee and tea consumption won’t harm hydration. Pay attention to your body’s response.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables: Many foods (like watermelon, celery, and oranges) are over 80% water. They count toward your daily intake.


There’s no universal magic number for water intake, but we recommend starting at ½ your ideal body weight and working up from there. Pay attention to your thirst, urine color, and specific circumstances. Water remains the best fluid source, but other beverages and water-rich foods contribute too. Stay hydrated and thrive!

Share in the comments: What’s your favorite way to stay hydrated?

Recipe (Hydration): Tasty Herbal Teas

If plain water isn’t your favorite, try these flavorful herbal teas. They’re hydrating and delicious, whether served hot or cold:

  • Hibiscus
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Rooibos
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rose Hips
  • Lemon Verbena


  1. Hot Tea: Place one tea bag per cup in a pot, add boiling water, and steep for 5 minutes. Add a touch of honey and a slice of lemon if desired. Serve.
  2. Iced Tea: Use two tea bags per cup, steep in boiling water for 5 minutes, and add honey if desired. Chill. Fill a glass with ice and cold tea.

Tip: Freeze berries in your ice cubes for a beautiful and nutritious twist!

Enjoy your hydrating journey! 🌊🍵


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