Many health experts say most of us do not drink enough water on a daily basis. This goes for men and women of all ages. One of my friends told me she has never seen her elderly father drink an entire glass of water.
Water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight and of course is critical to our survival. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lacking in energy.
So just how much water should we all drink every day? Health experts say it varies from individual to individual. Some factors to consider include your overall health, how active you are and the climate in which you live. The average, healthy adult living in a climate that is not too hot, men need about 15 ½ cups of water and women about 11 ½ cups of water.
These recommended amounts include other beverages and food you consume. About 20 percent of daily fluid we consume comes from food — remember that many fruits and vegetables are almost entirely water.
If you exercise and sweat, you need to replenish the water you lose with more water. Also, when you live in a humid climate like we do, you need to make sure you are hydrated. Pregnant or breast-feeding women need more water as well.
Here are some tips to help you drink more water:
• Measure out your daily water goal in several water bottles and keep them with you all day.
• Add citrus to your daily water amount. Lemons, limes and oranges are all great additions.
• Make spa water with cucumber slices and fresh mint.
• Make ice cubes with raspberries and blueberries in them and add them to your water.
• Drink a glass of water before every meal.
• Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water after you use the restroom.
• Get a high-tech water bottle. Yes, they exist. They track when and how much water you drink and send the information to your smartphone.
• There’s an app for that. Just do a search and find one of the apps to help track your water consumption.
• Dilute your iced tea. I love iced tea and drink it every day. I make a big pitcher using half black tea and half green tea. I dilute it quite a bit.
• Get a water filter. The purer your water is, the better it tastes.
• Drink mineral water instead of soda. Look for ones that have no or little sodium.
• Choose water rich foods. Some to consider are cucumbers (96 percent water), zucchini (95 percent water), watermelon (92 percent water), and grapefruit (91 percent water), just to name a few. Instead of that bag of chips, reach for an apple or an orange.
• Eat more soup. Make a big pot of soup on Sunday and store in individual containers to eat all week. Most soups freeze well. Just remember to date and label.
• Make more smoothies. Get into the habit of making a smoothie for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. Add water rich fruits and/or vegetables and of course, lots of water and some juice.
• Invest in a good water bottle. I love mine that has a metal straw and keeps my water or tea ice cold all day.
• Get into the habit of ordering water instead of other beverages when you eat out. I don’t know about you, but it makes me crazy to think about paying $2.50 for a glass of iced tea when it costs pennies to make at home.
• Go to bed every night with a big glass of water or water bottle full of water by your bedside. Sip on it if you get up in the night and try to finish drinking it when you wake up in the morning before you even get out of bed.
Especially now that we are headed into the cold and flu season, staying hydrated is incredibly important. I want all of my readers to stay healthy and staying hydrated is part of that. Now go get a glass of water.
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.