Up to 60% of your body is water—just good old H20. The amount varies depending on location. The brain and heart, for example, are composed of 73% water. The lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, while your muscles and kidneys are 79%. Even your bones are a surprisingly juicy 31%!
It’s no surprise, then, that being dehydrated isn’t good for you. To avoid that, drinking 8 cups of water per day is a good rule of thumb and easy to remember. To adjust for body size, our recommendation is usually to drink one half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water per day–that’s the equivalent of 10 cups.
Why We Struggle to Drink Water
Of course, knowing how much is only part of the challenge. There are two issues that frequently come up with our patients who are chronically under-hydrated.
The first is that they simply aren’t thirsty. But symptoms can show up differently in different people. For example, you might not be thirsty, but you might still experience any of the following:
- Dry mouth
- Tired or sleepy
- Decreased urine output
- Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal
- Dry skin
In other words, you can be low on hydration, but not experience “thirst”.
The second reason is that many people find water boring, and so they look to flavoured and sugared drinks to make things more interesting. Those are generally bad choices.
Our solution to both these challenges is to make sure you have something delicious and healthy at hand. Here are a couple of our favourite alternatives!
1. Infused Water
Here at the clinic, we love to have infused water around. A few added fruits and herbs can give plain old water a delicious boost! Some of our favourites are:
- Lemon, cucumber, and thyme
- Strawberry, basil, and lemon
- Apple and cinnamon sticks
- Grapefruit and rosemary
- Lavender and Strawberry
- Lime and Mint
- Watermelon and Mint
- Orange and blueberry
- Raspberry and Lemon
2. Homemade Herbal Iced Tea
Another delicious way is to make a homemade iced herbal tea. It takes just minutes!
- Take a herbal tea of your choice.
- Put 2 bags in a one-litre mason jar.
- Pour boiling water over bags to half fill jar.
- Steep for 15 mins at least. Remove bags.
- Add honey if desired.
- Fill the jar with ice.