Hydration is an often-forgotten key to good health. Our bodies, which are made up of about 70 percent water, rely on the essential sip for nearly every function—from digestion to metabolism to waste removal to temperature regulation. In fact, you could survive only a few days without water. 

Fun fact: Around a third of the water we consume comes from food, like fruits, veggies and soup. So how do you figure out how much you need to sip each day? A good guide is to divide your weight in half and aim for that number in fluid ounces. So someone who weighs 150 would shoot for 75 ounces (or about 9 glasses a day). And feel free to change up your cup; any thirst-quenching sip counts toward this target. Plain ol’ water is great, of course, but don’t forget sparkling water, coffee, and tea, all of which can also bump up your intake and offer a nice change of flavor.

Need an incentive to imbibe? Staying hydrated helps you:

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits

Hydration is an often-forgotten key to good health. Our bodies, which are made up of about 60 percent water, rely on the essential sip for nearly every function—from digestion to metabolism to waste removal to temperature regulation. In fact, you could survive only a few days without water. 

Fun fact: Around a third of the water we consume comes from food, like fruits, veggies and soup. So how do you figure out how much you need to sip each day? Here’s a simple formula I came up with to act as a guide (note: this is not an exact science; everyone’s needs are different but this can serve as a helpful reference): Divide your weight in half and aim for that number in fluid ounces. So, someone who weighs 150 would shoot for 75 ounces (or about 9 glasses a day). You’ll need even more if you’re exercising or live in a warm climate. And feel free to change up your cup—any thirst-quenching sip counts toward this target. Plain ol’ water is great, of course, but don’t forget sparkling water (I love LaCroix), coffee, and tea, all of which can also bump up your intake and offer a nice change of flavor.

Need an incentive to imbibe? Staying hydrated helps you…

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits: Feel sharp and focused

Feel sharp and focused

Bottoms up to increase your brain power. Even being mildly dehydrated can lead to problems—it can interfere with concentration, coordination and memory. Dehydration causes a decreased blood flow to the brain—and even a drop in brain volume. Low water intake can also result in headaches, both regular tension headaches and more intense migraines. Keep your head in the game by winning with water.

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits: Ease joint pain

Ease joint pain

Cheers to keeping your joints lubricated (and feeling pain-free). The cartilage that cushions the bones in your knee or elbow, for instance, is made up of about 80 percent water. Water helps transport nutrients to cells in the body and helps keep tissue, including cartilage, nourished and healthy. It’s also a key component of synovial fluid, a gel-like substance that provides cushion between bones and reduces friction during movement. Gulp until you hit your goal for healthy shoulders, knees and toes. 

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits: Keep your heart healthy

Keep your heart healthy

Dehydration leads a reduced blood flow, which causes your heart to work on overdrive. In other words, your heart has to pump harder to circulate appropriate amounts of blood to your organs and muscles and keep your body oxygenated. This extra strain can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and other issues. Your risk for heart disease also heightens when your blood becomes thickened due to dehydration. Case and point: Proper hydration is essential for optimal heart function. Plus, muscles (your heart is a muscle) work more efficiently when you’re properly quenched.

Head-to-Toe Hydration benefits: Improve gut health

Improve gut health
Dehydration is a common cause of tummy troubles and constipation. Water acts as a digestive aid, helping to break down the foods we eat, enabling our body to absorb essential nutrients. It also keeps food moving throughout your system and softens stool, cutting the risk for constipation. Staying adequately hydrated can also help prevent bloating—water flushes excess sodium from the body. Give yourself a gut check by grabbing a glass before or with each meal. 

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits: Drop extra pounds

Drop extra pounds

Water works for weight loss, too. It helps increase satiety and also seems to slightly rev metabolism. One study found that people who drank an extra 16.9 ounces of water (a little more than 2 cups) before each meal for two months enjoyed significant drops in body weight and body fat. Sipping a calorie-free drink can distract you from mindless munching and also helps prevent you from confusing thirst for hunger. Don’t skip a sip if you’re looking to slim down or maintain your weight.

Head-to-Toe Hydration Benefits: Sip in style

Sip in style

These are some of my favorite ways to stay hydrated:

Hibiscus Sparkling Iced Tea
Watermelon Cucumber Spa Water
Sparkling Plum Lemonade
Limoncello Strawberry Spritzer
Cucumber Lemon Spa Water
Raspberry Mint Iced Tea
Peach Raspberry Iced Tea