Ever wonder just how much water you should be drinking?

A properly hydrated body needs between 70 and 130 ounces of water a day. Most of us don’t drink that much.

If you have ever been dehydrated, you know that it feels like “death warmed over” — even being a little dehydrated can give you a headache and make you feel like you’re dragging.

The amount of water your body needs depends on the weather, how much you sweat, and the foods you eat. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables get a good amount of water in their diet; people who eat a lot of processed foods get almost no water in their diet. Either way, your body depends on water to function, and you will look and feel better if you are adequately hydrated.

Here are some hacks to help you be a hydration hero and harness the power of water.

Measure it!

If you are not measuring the amount of water you are drinking in a day you are probably not drinking enough. Once you actually see how much water you are consuming, you can adjust your intake appropriately.

Sip It!

To reap all the benefits of being hydrated, sip water throughout the day — don’t pound it all at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I like to try to drink half of my water before noon and finish the rest before 5pm.

Don’t drink with meals!

That’s right, you should be well hydrated before you eat for two reasons.

  1. You are more likely to overeat if you are dehydrated at meal time.
  2. Additionally, the digestive process begins in the mouth with chewing, saliva production, and the breaking down food. If you are washing down your food with liquids, you will be interfering with that process, creating heartburn and acid reflux.

Don’t be a thirsty drinker!

Dinner with friends, happy hour with co-workers, opening a bottle of wine at home? Be sure you are well hydrated before you add alcohol to the mix. Thirsty drinkers tend to drink too much, too fast; and we all know what that means. A good tip is to have a glass of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage you consume, thereby minimizing dehydration and intoxicated disasters.

Eat your water!

Enjoy more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables as a great way to load up on fiber, enzymes, vitamins and water. Watermelon, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, berries, juicy peaches, to suggest a few. Plant-based foods are the perfect hydrators, providing both water and micronutrients — a double benefit.

Boost your water!

If drinking water doesn’t excite you because it’s too,… well, too watery; jazz it up! You can add coconut water or dark cherry concentrate to add flavor and health benefits; or go the infusion route with cut fruit and herbs for flavor and goodness. No excuses, there are lots of ways to make your water more delicious — just be sure avoid artificial additives of any kind.

Drinking the right amount of water can benefit you in multiple ways. It can boost your athletic prowess, plump the hyaluronic acids cells in your skin, and help you maintain a healthy weight. So grab a big, reusable water bottle and get your hydration on!

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I am a passionate advocate for food as medicine, life navigator and culinary coach. This is my space for sharing what excites, inspires and motivates me to live my best life. It began as a recipe blog for nourishing, simple, weekday meals and has become something much bigger… a guide for vibrant longevity. I am excited to share my knowledge of how daily habits can cumulatively help you to live like you mean it and age like you want to.