The perfectionists’ guide to drinking water!

Ever wish there was a perfect formula for how many cups of water we should drink?

Sorry, but there isn’t one! My research found the amount is very individual. It is based on our weight, our activity level and the climate we live in.

But keep reading right to the end to find the perfect way to know if you are drinking enough.

My research still suggested that 8 to 10 cups of fluid each day is still a good guide.

But read carefully.

That is all fluids, not just water.

About 20% of it comes from the food we eat. Many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water by weight.

The other 80% comes from the beverages we drink.

Milk and juice, and tea and coffee can contribute to the 80%, as they are composed of mostly water.

Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, caffeine free, inexpensive and readily available.

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Let’s take the 10-cup rule because the math is really easy!

Let’s look at a typical day. 20% comes from our food and we’ll say that’s 2 cups.

That means we need 8 cups of fluids.

Tea or coffee are not the best choices but they do contribute, and almost everyone drinks them. The latest research suggests that caffeinated drinks in moderation are not as dehydrating as once thought.

Here is how I include 8 cups of fluid on a typical day.

1 glass of water as soon as I get up

1 glass of milk with cereal

2 cups of tea or coffee

1 glass of water with lunch

1 glass of water with mid-afternoon snack or sip from a water bottle during the afternoon

1 glass of water with dinner

1 cup of decaffeinated tea or coffee after dinner

You can see how the fluid level quickly adds up. I encourage you to take a look at what you drink. You may be pleasantly surprised!

If your fluid levels were lower than you expected you now have an easy example to follow!

Don’t overreact perfectionists!

Remember we are making small changes to our life. Take one little step or in this case one little sip.

Here’s the perfect way to decide if you are drinking enough. It’s easy and simple, but fairly private. “You can tell by checking your urine color and output. If you’re urinating every two to four hours, the output is light-colored, and there’s significant volume, then you’re probably well hydrated. If you go from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon without peeing, then you’re dehydrated.” Nancy Clark, MS, RD, sports dietitian in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

TODAY’S little STEP: Drink one extra glass of water. If last week you drank 3 a day make it 4! Each day drink your new amount and you will have taken one more little step to be healthy!

Resources Mayo clinic recommendations

WebMd healthy beverages

Healthy hydration guide

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends!

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Come walk with me on the path of health and well being. Together we will navigate life. No diet. No program. Just real life struggles and successes! But believe this statement - Every little step makes a difference!

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