The amount of water you drink (or don’t drink) is directly connected to the extent of your repetitive strain injuries caused by sitting at a desk. When you’re dehydrated, your muscles tense up and tighten much more quickly, opposed to if you were hydrated properly.
“90% of people are actually chronically dehydrated.”
-Chris Powell, ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss
It used to be a rule of thumb to drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day (64 ounces total). I think that was a myth. Or at least a misconception of society. 64 ounces is a lot better than nothing. However, athletes (and desk jockeys) should drink more than that in my opinion.
Nowadays, other recommendations (not from me) have skyrocketed in ounces. Some people recommend drinking 1 ounce of water for every 1.5 pounds of their body weight. To figure this out, you would take your body weight and divide it by 1.5. For example, I weigh 180 pounds. So, I’d drink about 120 ounces of water per day. That’s a huge difference compared to the old rule of thumb’s total 64 ounces.
Drinking 120 ounces is too much for me on a cool rest day. And it’s definitely too much for me during these Winter months. I find myself much more in line with the 3rd and final recommendation. Which is….
Others recommend less, saying you should drink half of your body weight in ounces. This is my favorite option. For me, being 180 pounds, my intake would be 90 ounces per day. This is much more along the lines of proper hydration for me right now. When Summer comes around and I’m playing beach volleyball for 6 to 8 hours in a day, then I’ll definitely increase my intake.
*Most Important Paragraph You’ll Read All Day*
So, how much water do I need to drink per day?
The bad news: It’s impossible to recommend a certain amount of water that is accurate for everybody. There are so many different variables to consider when trying to figure it out. Everyone’s body, workouts, external environments, eating and drinking habits are very different. It’s up to you to figure out exactly how much water you need to drink.
Experiment with the same amount for a few days. If you feel good and energetic throughout the day, chances are that you either got it right or are very close. If you feel tired or sluggish at any point in the day (especially the morning), increase your water intake and check out this article I wrote on vitamins here.
The good news: Here are some very helpful tips to help you figure out your own answer to the problem, “how much water do I need per day?”
Take These 5 Factors Into Consideration:
1. Temperature – A day laying on the couch with an air conditioner will require a lot less water than a day laying on the beach in the middle of the Summer.
2. Physical Activity Level – Rest days require a sufficient amount of water, but not as much as an intense workout day.
3. Body Weight – The more you weigh, the more water you need to drink, simple as that.
4. Amount of Alcohol, Caffeine, and Sugar Consumption – These 3 guys are the biggest enemies of hydration. Take them in moderation as much as possible. Also, whenever you consume them, make sure you drink some water either before or after. It’ll help with digestion. Also, the alcohol, caffeine, and sugar will have less of a dehydration effect on your body.
5. Dairy Products – Regardless of how low they are in fat, dairy products are an inflammatory source of fuel. Especially when the dairy is low-quality food or drink. Many health-conscious athletes are moving away completely from dairy these days. I’m one of them. I may have some quality cheese here or there, but I no longer drink milk or bring cheese into the house with me. And I gave up yogurt years ago. The more dairy you consume, the more water you’ll need to counteract the inflammation.
[Side note: I do eat plenty of quality eggs everyday. Some people don’t consider eggs “traditional dairy”. I’m one of those people.]
Basically, in summary….
Drink at least one glass of water immediately when you wake up (every morning).
Determine your own daily amount 0f water to drink. I generally shoot for half my body weight in ounces. 180 (pounds) multiplied by .5 equals 90 (ounces) per day. But keep the 5 factors in mind that are listed above in this article.
The healthier you eat, the less water you need to drink. Nutrient-dense, whole foods are very often filled with water. Especially when those foods are fruits and vegetables.
The more alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and dairy you consume, the more water you’ll need to drink.
How much water do you currently drink a day? Do you feel like it’s enough? Post a comment below.