We’ve all heard the old adage about drinking 8 glasses of water a day. But the CDC (Center for Disease Control) maintains that 43% of American adults drink less than 4 glasses of water a day, and 7% don’t drink any at all. Whether or not the 8-glasses-a-day rule is true, no one can argue that we should be drinking more than a glass at every meal.
Why Aren’t Americans Drinking?
The problem isn’t really that Americans aren’t drinking enough—it’s that we’re drinking the wrong stuff. In 2011, The Huffington Post published an article that revealed the results of a study done by AdAge showing that the most consumed beverages in America are carbonated soft drinks. Americans drink 44.7 gallons per person per annum on average; water comes in second place with 28.3 gallons.
Fortunately, statistics also show that soda consumption is on the decline (despite it still being the most consumed beverage) and bottled water sales are increasing. From 2011-2012, bottled water consumption increased most of any other beverage in America.
How Much Should We Be Drinking?
Even if America is heading in the right direction with their water consumption, it’s not quite there yet. The 8 glasses a day rule might be a little outdated, but new studies show that the recommended daily water intake is half your weight in ounces. If you weigh 200 lbs., for example, you should be drinking 100 ounces of water every day. But that’s just one rule of thumb.
The Institute of Medicine says that most healthy Americans drink enough water by simply letting thirst be their guide. They recommend that women drink an average of 2.7 liters of water daily (including the water they get from food consumption) and that men drink 3.7 liters.
There is no universally accepted rule for water intake, but a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to your urine—it should be pale yellow or clear—if it’s dark yellow or gold, you aren’t drinking enough.
Why Do We Need Water?
Many people substitute regular water with sports drinks, soda, tea, or even juice and milk. They don’t like water because it’s boring, tastes like plastic, or is nearly undrinkable from the tap in their city.
But though water isn’t as exciting as energy drinks or caffeine, it’s far healthier for you. Our bodies are made up of 50-65% water, and we need it! Drinking water helps with constipation, headaches, energy, kidney function, and even losing weight.
Make a commitment to drink more water! Have a glass with every meal, every snack, and every time you feel hungry throughout the day. Keep a glass of water by your bed at night and at your desk at work. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, invest in a Brita pitcher or water filter. They’ll be cheaper (and more environmentally friendly) than bottled water, in the long run.
For more information about water or to set up a water treatment, contact our representatives at Johnson Water Conditioning at 630-832-9393.