A large majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause your body to retain more fat, it’s also a cause of headaches, fatigue and brain fog. Your body needs water!
Coffees, sodas, teas and sports drinks do contain water, but can actually act as diuretics because it takes large amounts of body-water and alkalizing minerals to neutralize the acids in them.
Obviously, we’re all made wonderfully and completely different, so needs can vary between individuals. The Mayo Clinic suggests:
124 ounces of water per day for the average man
92 ounces of water per day for the average woman
And that’s just for a moderately active adult in temperate climates. Higher activity—like working out 3-5 times per week—drastically increases your body’s need. Drinking enough water allows your digestive tract to absorb nutrients and dispel any waste and toxins and helps to keep food cravings away.
Craving sweets? You could just be thirsty:
“When you’re dehydrated, it can be difficult for some nutrients and organs like the liver which use water to release some glycogens and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for food. While you can crave anything from chocolate to a salty snack, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be experiencing difficulty breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as fuel.” –John Higgins, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Chief of Cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, and Director of Exercise Physiology, Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance
So the next time you feel hungry outside of normal meal times, drink a glass of water. It could be all you need to stop the craving and feel better. The same goes for when you feel an inkling of a headache: if it’s from dehydration, drinking a large glass of water and then continuously sipping can stop it in it’s tracks.
Tired of plain water? Try sprucing it up with any of these combinations:
lemon, mint, cucumber
watermelon and basil
strawberry and lime
Challenge yourself: drink a gallon of water every day for one week and record any changes you feel and see.