So how do you know how much water you should be drinking to help prevent headaches and dehydration? That is somewhat subjective. Everyone is different, as our bodies widely vary. No two people are exactly the same. To tell a 5’2”, 115 pound female that she should be consuming the same amount of water each day as her 6 foot, 285 pound male counterpart does not sound reasonable. So the general statement of consuming eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day is too broad and generalized to work for everyone. Some suggest a more realistic version of it by saying to take your weight in pounds and divide that number in half, and that number is how many ounces you should drink each day. As a better, more individualized guideline, pay attention to how you are feeling and your urine. If you feel thirsty, fatigued, foggy headed, getting muscle cramps, headaches, or have dry skin, you probably need to consume more water. If your urine is not clear or very pale yellow, then you should drink more water. When your urine is bright yellow, it means that you do not have enough water in your system to flush out your body’s waste materials.
Does the thought of constantly drinking water all day sound daunting to you? I will let you in on how I help keep myself hydrated and what my water consumption throughout the day looks like. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated does not need to be a difficult or daunting task. This is what I do for most days:
- I keep a glass of water by my bed at night. If I wake up in the middle of the night and my mouth feels dry or if have to go the bathroom, I take a sip or two of water.
- When I wake up in the morning, I finish that glass of water.
- After I have breakfast, I take my daily supplements and vitamins and wash them down with another glass of water. (If you don’t take any, rinse your palate with a glass of water either with or immediately after your eat your breakfast).
- Before I leave for work, I fill up my water bottle. (Most water bottles are between 16 ounces to 20 ounces.) My goal while at work, it to consume that entire water bottle by lunch time. I keep it close by and in quick reach of me at all times.
- Once that water bottle is empty, I refill it. I then make it my goal to finish that entire bottle of water by the time I get home. Sometimes even if that means I am drinking it on my drive home. The point is to finish it before I walk in my front door.
* If you go through your water bottle faster, always refill it as soon as it is empty and have it in reach to consume throughout the day.
- If it is a night I am working out after work, I drink another glass of water before I leave and refill my water bottle to take to the gym.
- Depending on my workout, I drink throughout the hour session and set the goal to consume the entire bottle of water, if not more, by the time I get home.
- On nights that I do not work out, I drink a glass of water before dinner and I usually will have another glass after I finish doing the dishes. (That is two more glasses of water in the evenings).
- I try to drink at least a half glass of water about 45 minutes before I go to bed as well. Then refill my cup to keep by my bed at night again.
If you do not care for the taste of plain water, try adding fresh slices of fruit into your water. A lemon or lime slice is very common, but a slice of orange, cucumber, a sprig of mint, or even some fresh berries or a few small chunks of watermelon can add a nice little flavor to your water while still keeping it healthy. Caffeine-free teas are another great way to consume water with some flavor. Try to avoid anything with added sugars, carbonation, and caffeine, as they will all aid in dehydrating you.
The main point to helping you stay hydrated is to keep water nearby at all times and drink it frequently. If you ever feel thirsty, you are dehydrated. If you keep yourself well hydrated, you will find that you may have fewer headaches, if any at all. You may even feel more energized, can think more clearly, have healthier looking skin, and get sick less often. Just some of the many benefits of staying hydrated!
Cheers to consuming water and preventing those nasty headaches!