By: Jennifer Brignall-Strong

The human body is made up of nearly 70% water, so it stands to reason that it plays a pretty vital part in our existence. But how exactly does it contribute to our overall well-being?

Water is an essential nutrient, meaning that your body cannot produce enough of it through metabolism to meet its daily needs. Since your body loses water regularly through sweat, urine, and other outputs, you need to replenish often to avoid dehydration.

Your body depends on water to help it perform critical functions. Not only does water aid in digestion, it also lubricates and cushions joins, contributes to better skin health, and regulates your blood pressure, body temperature, and electrolyte balance.

So, how much do you need to drink to stay healthy? Experts agree the old “eight glasses a day” adage doesn’t really hold water; it’s probably closer to four to six glasses. Needs vary depending on factors like activity level, age, gender, and climate, so simply drinking to quench your thirst should ensure you meet your fluid needs.

Worried you’re not getting enough H20? Here are a few ways to up your intake:

Keep a Reusable Bottle Handy

Whether you’re sitting at a desk all day or out running errands, keeping a reusable water bottle handy will keep hydration top of mind. Bonus: they’re easy to refill on the go and better for the environment than single use plastic versions.

Drink One Glass First Thing in the Morning

One popular theory suggests that starting your day by drinking a full glass of water on an empty stomach offers a myriad of benefits including improved mental alertness and faster metabolism. While this one isn’t backed by any official scientific data, if it helps you increase your daily intake, drink up when you wake up!

Set a Reminder

When you’ve got a hectic schedule, sometimes it’s the simple things that fall by the wayside. How many times have you gotten so busy that you’ve forgotten to eat or drink?

Scheduling in water breaks like you plan everything else is the best way to meet your daily requirements. Set a timer on your smartphone or watch to go off every hour as a reminder to stop and sip.

Add Flavour (But Not Calories)

Find water bland? Dislike the taste? There are a variety of ways to add flavour without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try infusing your water with fresh produce like lemons, limes, cucumbers, or mint.  You can also buy herbal teas and water enhancers that will tickle your taste buds and quench your thirst.

Eat Your Liquids

Fruits and vegetables with a higher water content will fill you up and contribute to your daily intake.  They also contain valuable nutrients and minerals. Talk about a winning combination!Foods that are high in water include cucumbers, lettuce, celery, and melons like cantaloupe, honeydew, and of course, watermelon (the name says it all!)