Drinking the right amount of water each day is important. The majority of your body is made of water, so you have to keep replenishing it to stay balanced. This is why it should be a priority every day, just like eating the right amount of food. Yet drinking water often slips people’s minds. They don’t know how much water is healthy, so they don’t worry about drinking enough of it. When you get used to listening to your body, you’ll hear it ask for a drink—and not the 5 o’clock kind!

What Are The Benefits of Drinking Water?

Your body needs water to function properly. Cells run on water, water protects your organs and spinal cord, and it controls your body temperature. Essentially, it’s like oil for a car—keeping everything lubricated and working exactly as it should.

Drinking the right amount of water can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Water is a good replacement for beverages that are high in calories—it can help you manage those cravings. It keeps your metabolism firing correctly, which is necessary for healthy weight control. In fact, a recent study found that people who drank 16 ounces of water before a meal lost more weight than those who drank less or no water before meals. So drinking enough water can make you feel better, but also help you lose weight. And down the road, maintaining a healthy weight can help you save on healthcare costs.

If you exercise, your muscles need water to refuel and grow. Muscles are 75% water and need regular hydration. Water is especially good for one really important muscle—your heart! Good hydration can help your heart pump blood more efficiently, and an efficient heart is a happy heart.

And How Much Water Should I Drink?

Now let’s get down to ounces. How much water is healthy to drink? It turns out there are two answers: it depends, and a lot.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups or 3 liters of water each day. This number is 9 cups or 2.2 liters for women. If you need another rule to help you remember how much water to drink, think about this: you should consume one-half ounce to one ounce of water for every pound you weigh. So a 180-pound person would drink somewhere between 90 and 180 ounces a day. The average cup is 8 ounces, so this rule translates to upwards of 10 cups of water each day. You can see this math equals out to about the same as the first recommendation. The important thing to remember is that you should listen to your body when it tells you it’s thirsty.

We especially want you to increase your water intake when you are out in the heat or exercising during the hot summer months. Exposure to the sun will increase the amount of water you lose sweating. You need to be on the lookout for symptoms of dehydration, including: dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, confusion, or fainting. To learn more about water intake when you’re exercising, you can read one of our Nutrition Updates.

HealthMarkets Is a Glass Half Full

At HealthMarkets, we want to take away the hassle of insurance shopping so that you can focus on your personal health routine, including proper hydration. One of our 3,000 agents is always ready and able to help you understand your options and help make the right choice for your family. Find a licensed agent near you and get an in-person consultation today.

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