Tips to optimize your daily water intake

234Water. A precious commodity. Life is impossible without it. Yet, most people are in a constant state of slight dehydration and don't even realize it. We've all heard the exhortation to drink plenty of water and so we try. But it's not always easy to ke

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  • Water

  • A precious commodity. Life is impossible without it. Yet, most people are in a constant state of slight dehydration and don't even realize it.

  • We've all heard the exhortation to drink plenty of water and so we try. But it's not always easy to keep track of how much you've consumed, or when are the best times. Here are some tips on getting the water your body needs, in the way that's best for optimal health.

  • How much water should you drink in a day?

  • The standard recommendation advises drinking eight cups per day, and you won't go wrong if you follow that. Some experts determine the number based on how much you weigh. One half ounce of water per pound of body weight is one specification. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you would want to drink 90 ounces (or about three quarts). All of this depends on how active you are, as well. If you engage in strenuous exercise, you should drink more. Other factors are high humidity (you'll need more) or nursing (you'll need more — at least 10 cups.)

  • Ideally, your daily water intake should enter your body at a steady trickle throughout the day. Drinking it in large "chunks" is not as beneficial, and your body can only utilize so much at a time. It is possible, although rare, to drink too much water, causing sodium levels to be diluted, but that is not a serious concern for most people.

  • Drinking a lot during meals, especially iced drinks is not beneficial for digestion. It's a better idea to drink the bulk of your daily water in-between meals, and only sip water during meals.

  • Through trial and error, you can determine what's right for you. If you're like most people, you could use more water than you are currently drinking. One way to determine if your water intake is adequate is to watch for six or more cups of colorless or light yellow urine per day. Darker colors can be a sign of dehydration, although vitamins can also cause coloration.

  • Other liquids can also count toward your daily count, and water is present in many foods we eat. Some fruits are up to 90 percent water. Nevertheless, drinking plenty of pure water is the best way to ensure you have enough hydration in your system.

  • Here are some other ways to keep track of your water intake. At the beginning of the day, fill a container with your target amount of water, and drink or pour from that throughout the day. Try using a system of bracelets — moving them from one wrist to the other as cups are consumed. There are even smart phone apps that help you keep track and remind you to drink!

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Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at mynewoldschool.com, and she blogs about her writing adventures at margothovley.com.

Website: http://www.margothovley.com

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