Roughly five years ago (when I was JUST beginning my wellness journey), I decided (stupidly) that intense physical activity was the only way for me to lose weight.
I spent over an hour every single day doing as much cardio and activity as I could- and I’d leave dripping in sweat feeling victorious.
Not long after I started this pattern, I began to get weird symptoms that didn’t go away right away. Like…
My legs cramping.
Feeling dizzy and faint.
And I couldn’t figure out what was causing them.
Flash forward, I stumbled across an article about water consumption and it hit me- I wasn’t drinking enough water.
Sure- I’d heard and read all of the latest ‘guidelines’ on water consumption, but they all recommended the same thing… to drink 8 cups of water a day.
Which, I WAS doing.
So what gives? Why was I feeling like this?
Well, as it turns out, 8 cups was no where near enough what I required for my minimum intake on a sedentary day- let alone while doing intense physical activity.
What I SHOULD have been drinking, was actually 12-14 cups a day.
My intake was a LOT lower than what it should have been. It’s no wonder why I was having all those crazy symptoms!
So, I ended up increasing my intake to the proper amount, and sure enough, my symptoms resided. And since then, I’ve followed this guideline to ensure that I am always getting the proper amount of water… and I haven’t had an issue since!
Now I know you’re thinking, ‘That’s great Brianne. But now I’m curious- how much water SHOULD I be drinking?’
Well, first, it’s important to note that water is absolutely crucial to your body’s performance. Did you know that your body is made up of over 60% water?
Crazy, right?! 😳
So, it goes without saying that if you are not drinking enough each day, your system will be depleted and your body will not be functioning at its optimal level.
Not only does water help all of your bodily functions like digestion, muscle recovery, cognitive performance, balancing electrolytes, gas exchange and more- but it can also be what makes or breaks your weight-loss goals. Having an adequate water intake has been shown to control cravings/appetite, boost metabolism and help burn fat- which is exactly what we want. 🙌🏻
Now here’s some easy math: to figure out what the minimum is that you should be drinking each day, simply take your weight in pounds, and divide it by 2. Whatever that number is in ounces, is what you should be drinking each day. So if you are 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water minimum each day! 🙏🏻 Simple right?!
Just for clarification: 1 cup (250 mls) is roughly 8 ounces, so a 500ml water bottle would be 16 ounces.
It’s also important to note that if it’s hot, or if you’re working out, you will likely require more than that number too- just like I did!
Now that you know how much you should actually be drinking, here are some of my favourite tips for effectively increasing your consumption:
Stick to drinking plain water while using your own natural flavour enhancers. Some of my favourites include adding lemon, berries like raspberry, mint, or even ginger!
If you aren’t the biggest fan of cold water, you can also try warm water with lemon and honey. The options are endless, so experiment until you find something you enjoy.
Avoid front loading your water- which means drinking it all in one sitting. Instead, try to drink it regularly throughout the day, with the majority being drank before 3-4pm to avoid being up all night.
Try using a big water bottle or filling a large jug in the fridge to keep yourself going.
Take water with you wherever you go. Going for a drive? A walk? To work? To a class? Bring a full water bottle with you at all times.
Try setting an alarm on your phone throughout the day to remind you, or use an app like water minder to prompt you to drink more.
Make sure to keep track of how much you are drinking via your phone, notebook, etc.
Try sipping on herbal teas in the evening to help satisfy cravings or habitual snacking.
Finally, my PRO TIP: Get the majority of your water intake in by 4 pm, so that you aren’t up all night going to the bathroom and disturbing your sleep 🙃
Happy drinking! x