Did you know how much water you drink can impact your mood? Proper hydration is one of the most important foundational steps you can take to ensuring you are at the top of your health and wellness game. Not only does proper hydration impact your mood, but it is also a key component of every other process in your body including digestion, temperature control, and proper joint function. As the summer begins, that means your water intake is more important than ever.

How much water should you be drinking? Most people are aware of the general saying “8 cups a day”. However, there isn’t an easy answer. According to the Mayo Clinic, “no single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.”

You will need to consider:

  • Your biological sex
  • How active you are
  • How much time you spend outdoors in the sun and heat
  • Any chronic medical conditions you may have

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (124 oz) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (92 oz) of fluids a day for women

These fluids can be from water, other beverages, and food.

Did you know about 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food? The rest comes from what you drink. An easy way to get more fluid intake is by choosing to consume foods that contain a lot of water like melons, celery, soups, and even spinach.

Need some creative ideas on how to get more water into your diet? 

  • Don’t really love the taste of plain water? Consider adding some fruit! Not only will this trick help to improve the taste, but it may also help you drink more as well as get some trace vitamins along the way.
  • Make sure to always carry a reusable water bottle with you. There are tons of refill stations around campus as well as in many public places. The easier it is to refill your water bottle, the more likely you are to consume those extra ounces.
  • Invest in a freezer-safe water bottle. Many people prefer cold water, so having a frozen bottle in the morning will help keep your water cold most of the day. This is especially helpful if you will be spending time outside in the heat.
  • Looking to save some money and stay hydrated? Consider water over soda or other beverages while dining out. Tap water is free. Ask for a lemon or lime if you want to jazz it up a bit.
  • Consider water as your first choice over other beverages that are sweetened, such as sports drinks or sodas. This can be a great tip for anyone looking to limit their sugar intake and be mindful of their weight goals. According to the CDC, substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.

Check out these other cool resources and apps for more ways to track and increase your water consumption:

Plant Nanny App: This fun app helps to remind you to consume more water using your own virtual plant you need to keep hydrated.

Hydro Coach: Set your target intake and let the app be in charge of reminding you to drink up.

Check out the Center for Student Well-Being’s Health Topics page for more tips and recommendations.

The bottom line is that water is your best friend. Consider consuming more water as a way to step up your healthy routine.