A person's hydration depends on a number of different factors, including their size as well as their activity level. Many professionals recommend that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day in order to stay hydrated which comes out to be around half a gallon.
However, others believe that we need more water than that and recommend that we instead drink a gallon of water per day.
The Importance of Drinking Water
To ensure that your body continues to perform at optimal levels, it is important that you stay hydrated. However, you also need to keep in mind that hydration needs are going to vary per person, so what is good for one may not be good enough for the next person. So, any recommendations may need to be adjusted.
With proper hydration, you will reap several health benefits, including:
- Enhanced Performance. When hydrated, you can effectively prevent fatigue, control your body temperature, and reduce stress during your workouts.
- Manage Weight. Drinking water also helps increase your satiety and improves your metabolic rate, which in turn helps you lose and manage your weight.
- Improve Brain Functions. With adequate hydration, you will have improved memory and cognitive abilities.
- Better Skin. With hydration also comes moisturized skin and increased skin elasticity.
Keeping Up with Hydration
If you want to strive to drink a gallon of water each day, you may quickly find that it is not an easy task to accomplish - at first. With too much water, you may begin to feel bloated, and you will also find that you are spending more time on bathroom breaks.
However, you will definitely not be dehydrated, and you may even sleep better at night, eat a healthier diet, have clearer skin, and tons more energy.
After a week or so of upping your water intake, you might also find yourself making better-snacking choices. Instead of reaching for the sweets, you might instead choose an apple or other fresh fruit and vegetables.
In the following weeks, you may feel thirsty, even though you have increased your water intake over the last several weeks.
How to Drink More Water
As you amp up to increase your water intake to a gallon each day, we have a few tips you can take along with you to make it easier to remember to stay hydrated.
- Morning Water. When you first wake up, start the day with a 16-ounce glass of water.
- Don't Skip the Coffee. You also don't have to feel the need to ditch your morning coffee. You can have a cup of coffee or tea and still hit your goal.
- Skip the Sugar. Try to refrain from adding sugar and other additives to your water. The extra sugar will just intensify your thirst later in the day.
- Following a healthy diet complete with smarter snacking options is also good for replenishing your electrolytes. Fruit, nuts, string cheese, tomatoes, and unsweetened Greek yogurt are all healthy snacking options and are ideal for after a workout.
- Sparkling Water. If you are finding it hard to completely ditch the soda and sugary and carbonated drinks to focus on water, then you can choose sparkling water over flat water. It will hydrate you just as well as regular water would.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Drinking a gallon of water per day is definitely achievable for some, but many others will find that it is just too much. If you aren't sure if you should be increasing your water intake, there are a few things you can watch for to help you decide.
For example, if you notice that your urine is a dark yellow color, then you may be dehydrated. You may also experience dry mouth, headaches, cracked lips, and even muscle cramps. All of these are signs that you should increase your water intake.
You should also avoid drinking too much water too fast. When you do this, your sodium levels may begin to drop, which is a condition known as hyponatremia. This can be a serious and sometimes fatal condition.
Listen to Your Body
The absolute best thing you can do is stop and just listen to your body. Let how you feel determine how much water you should be drinking each day.
Yes, there are general guidelines for how much water to drink per day, but you also have to base these guidelines on other factors, including your own needs.Whether you drink a gallon of water a day or stick to your 8 glasses, staying hydrated has several benefits for your health and is something you will want to try to stay focused on rather than reaching for those sugary drinks.