With summer just around the corner, staying hydrated becomes even more important. Just to give you an idea of how important water is to us, our bodies are actually made up of 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include transportation of nutrients, digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, and maintenance of body temperature. All extremely important functions in our body!
With diabetes, it is even more important to drink enough water because you can become dehydrated more easily, especially if your blood sugar is high. Also, being properly hydrated ensures that your metabolism is working efficiently. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so it is important to drink water throughout the day.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Doctors used to recommend 8 glasses (8 oz.) of water per day. This was called the 8 x 8 rule. It is equivalent to half a gallon of water per day. While this is still a good general rule, we have now discovered that the guideline needs to be much more individualized. Your needs depend on how much you weigh, where you live, what season it is, and how active you are. The current rule of thumb is drinking half of an ounce for every lb. you weigh, or half of your body weight in fluid ounces per day. For example, for a person weighing 160 lbs. they should drink about 80 oz. of water per day.
Some Tips & Tricks for Drinking More Water
- Keep a water bottle or cup with you to drink throughout the day: It is much easier to stay hydrated when you carry your water around with you. Try buying a fun water bottle to motivate you to stay hydrated!
- Be wary of alcohol, teas, and coffee: While these are fine in moderation, they are also dehydrating. Alcohol is especially dehydrating, so make sure you drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink. Tea and coffee will make you use the restroom more, increasing your chances of becoming dehydrated.
- Choose low calorie drinks: Water is great for hydrating and it doesn’t have any calories. However, if you don’t like the taste of water and will not drink it, it is better to drink sugar free, low calorie drinks such as flavored waters, sparkling water (with or without flavor), or put lemon or fruit in your water to flavor it. You can also buy low calorie flavor droppers. Also, try adding water to your 100% fruit juice or watering down your sweet tea.