Total Health in Midlife Episode #177: Why do I Need to Drink Water?

Why Do I Need to Drink Water?

Listen in as I guide you through the essential yet often misunderstood world of ‘hydration.’ In this conversation, I unpack why the one-size-fits-all rule of “eight glasses a day” may not hold water for everyone, and instead, I offer insights into personalizing your intake for optimal health. 

I explore the critical roles that water plays in body function, energy, digestion, and cognitive performance, while also debunking common hydration myths. You’ll learn how to comfortably integrate water consumption into your daily routine and hear how this simple practice can aid in weight management, skin health, and the prevention of age-related issues.

Then, we switch gears to the practical side of things, sharing personalized strategies for upping your water intake. You’ll hear from individuals like Patty, Dani, Carolee, and Jax, who’ve each found unique and sustainable ways to stay hydrated, from morning rituals to workplace games. I’ll also share my own methods, like keeping a glass pitcher at my desk and opting for a reusable bottle outdoors, emphasizing the importance of making hydration fit naturally into your lifestyle. 

As we wrap up this session, we set the stage for the next conversation about incorporating vegetables into your diet, continuing our journey through the eight basic habits for a healthier life. So, grab a glass of water, and let’s toast to your health!

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Discover why the classic “eight glasses a day” rule might not be what your body actually needs and learn personalized hydration tips that will revolutionize your water intake.
  • Learn why a one-size-fits-all approach to hydration is outdated and discover how to tailor your water intake to your unique lifestyle and environment.
  • Discover practical and enjoyable strategies to effortlessly stay hydrated throughout the day, from pre-coffee water habits to stylish hydration tools that make drinking water fun.
  • Learn clever tactics to boost your water consumption by replacing sugary drinks, using reminders, and creating a pleasant drinking environment that makes staying hydrated a delight.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Are you drinking enough water? Now, chances are you might not be. But before you reach for that water bottle, did you know that the old rule of eight glasses a day might not be what your body actually needs?

In today’s episode, we are going to unravel the myths about hydration, introduce a more personalized approach to water intake, and share some ingenious tips that will transform the way that you think about drinking water.

So, if you’ve ever struggled with your water intake or wondered how to make drinking water a seamless part of your day, you will not want to miss this.

Tune in and let’s dive into the world of water together. You might just find the key to feeling better and healthier than ever.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, and welcome to the Total Health and Midlife Podcast. I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, and I want to thank you for tuning in today. Now in this episode, we are diving into something as fundamental as it is essential. Water. More specifically, we are talking about the transformative power of drinking water and why it’s the very first of my ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do.’

Now, if you’re curious about all 8 Habits and how they can help you in feeling better, I recommend listening to episode number 172, The Foundation version 2.0. You can also download your copy of the 8 Basic Habits Guide and Checklist at

Today, we are exploring why drinking water is crucial for your health and how to effectively integrate water into your daily life. And we are going to bust some myths about hydration along the way. Plus, I’ll be sharing insights and tips directly from my listeners, as well as some inspiring stories from my own clients. Whether you’re looking to improve your water intake, or simply you’re curious about the benefits, this episode will provide you with practical and actionable advice.

We all know that we need to drink water. But the reasons behind it and the impact it can have on your well-being are completely worth a closer look. So, first off, water is a major player in how your body functions. It’s involved in everything, from regulating your body temperature, to ensuring your organs work properly.

When we are well hydrated, our cells are at their best. Which means they can perform all of their tasks more effectively, including repairing themselves and supporting our immune system. One of the most immediate benefits of drinking enough water is a boost in energy levels.

Have you ever felt sluggish and just reach for a coffee? Sometimes what your body really needs is a glass of water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue because when your body lacks water, it has to work harder to perform basic functions. And this extra effort can leave you feeling just tired.

Also, drinking enough also supports your digestive system. Water helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber, allowing these substances to pass through your body more easily. And so, this means a smoother digestive process and less chance of issues like constipation. Plus, being hydrated helps your body to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut, which is crucial for everything from digestion to immune health.

So, let’s talk a little bit about why staying hydrated is particularly crucial for feeling your best, especially as we get older. Now, water helps to keep our skin supple, and it assists in weight management by helping us to feel fuller and reduces the urge to snack. And it plays a key role in preventing common age related issues such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections. I know, we are at that age where we’re talking about that.

Additionally, drinking enough water has a significant impact on your cognitive functions. Yes, you’re thinking. Adequate water intake helps to maintain your concentration and help to keep you alert. If you find yourself struggling to focus or feeling mentally foggy, a lack of water could be one factor.

Now, as we talk about making water a key part of your health routine, it’s really super important to clear up some common misconceptions that might be misleading. One of the most popular myths is the idea that everyone needs to drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day.

While it’s completely catchy, I don’t know how this thing came into play and it doesn’t take into account individual needs based on factors like body size, activity level, and even the climate that you live in. So, the truth is that drinking enough, can vary greatly from one person to another.

For example, if you’re physically active, you are going to need more water to compensate for fluid loss through your sweat. Similarly, if you live in a hot climate, your hydration needs are going to increase. So, instead of sticking to a rigid rule, a more tailored approach is to consider drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

An example of that would be, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would aim for about 80 ounces of water. However, this is just a starting point. What’s really super important is to listen to your body and adjust based on how you feel and what your day involves.

For beginners, people who are not paying attention to their water intake and who want to increase their water, it’s crucial to not overwhelm your body. I know this from experience. Jumping straight into your target water intake can lead to just feeling really uncomfortable and such frequent trips to the bathroom. And it can even disrupt your sleep if you drink too much before bedtime, and I’m sure you’ve had that experience.

Now instead, start by slowly increasing your water intake. So, what this is going to take is for about a week, you want to track how much water you’re actually drinking. And then, add an extra glass of water per day and gradually build from there.

This gradual increase helps your body to adjust without too much discomfort. And it’s also really helpful to taper your water intake as the day progresses. Especially, if you find that drinking water later in the day affects your sleep. If that happens, try to consume the majority of your daily water intake earlier in the day.

Now, this strategy not only helps with better hydration, but it also supports your body’s natural rhythms. The key here is to make hydration adapt to your life, not the other way around. So, I polled my Instagram followers and asked them, how do you get enough water in your day? And I came back with a bunch of really great suggestions.

Drinking enough water does not have to be a chore. It can actually be quite fun and creative. Many of my listeners have shared how they seamlessly integrated water into their daily routines. Making sure that they have enough without feeling like a task. Like, something overwhelming.

So, let me share with you some of these strategies and see what you find is your new favorite way to keep up with your water intake. Patty suggested adding a little flavor like those Mio’s, those Mio energy and a smidge of caffeine and a little bit of flavor. So, she said that that does the trick for her.

Now, Dani suggested a simple yet effective tip. She said, chug your water bottle first thing in the morning. This not only kickstarts her hydration for the day, but also revs up her metabolism, helping her to feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes her way.

Carolee takes her water on the road, and she always carries a water bottle wherever she goes, and she chooses water as her go to beverage when she eats out in restaurants. And this habit, I really love. It ensures that she’s never caught without water, especially during meals, which is a prime time to get enough and as you’re sitting down, replenish your fluids.

Now, Jax turned hydration into a group effort and a game at work. She and her coworkers have a fun routine where if anyone yells, WATER! Everyone in close proximity takes a drink. This not only keeps everyone hydrated, but it also adds a little bit of fun to their day.

Now, from my own experience, I’ve found a couple strategies incredibly helpful. For instance, I always drink a glass of water before my morning coffee. This not only dilutes the acidity of coffee in my stomach and sets a hydrated tone for the day, but I also make it a point to drink a glass of water between cups of coffee. Balancing my caffeine intake with my hydration.

Now, when I’m outside walking or working out, I use a reusable bottle that looks like and feels like the convenience of those single use water bottles. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to carry, and it fits perfectly in my hand. Making it ideal for being on the go.

Now, at my desk, when I work during the day, I have a pretty glass pitcher that serves both as a visual reminder and a practical tool for staying hydrated. It’s not just about the utility of it, but having something visually appealing, encourages me to drink more water.

And I just noticed something else that I do to help support my drinking warm water. I have figured out that if I fill up my glass when it’s empty, so before I need to drink. So, when I finish it, I immediately fill it up, and this seems totally stupid. But I notice that when I look at my glass and it’s empty, I think, oh, I can’t drink any water because I don’t have any. Which of course, is always a lie. So, filling up before it’s empty helps me to drink more.

Lastly, I often use a straw, and especially during Zoom meetings with clients. This allows me to maintain eye contact without appearing rude, adhering to a cultural lesson that I learned from an ex-boyfriend that showing the bottom of your glass can be seen as disrespectful in his culture. And I don’t know, it just kind of stuck. These personal touches and community shared tips show that drinking water can be easy, enjoyable, and even a little bit of fun.

Drinking water is a deeply personal habit, and there’s no one size fits all method to ensuring that you’re drinking enough. As someone who identifies as a chugger, and you might have heard Dani’s suggestion and been like, oh, I’m never going to do that.

But I do drink a lot of water in one sitting. And so, I’ve learned quite a bit about the do’s and don’ts of increasing water intake both from a personal experience and from working with my clients. So, I’ve always been able to drink a lot of water at once, and often prefer to get a significant portion of my daily intake in a few big gulps.

However, I understand that this approach isn’t without its pitfalls. I remember when I first decided to increase my water consumption, I didn’t think much about the gradual adaptation my body would need. And of course, if you’ve done this before, you know what I figured out. I found myself desperately needing a bathroom while in the middle of shopping at the grocery store or being in Best Buy.

It was more than just inconvenient. It was disruptive. And this experience taught me an important lesson about body adaptation. Your bladder needs time to adjust to increased water intake. So, it’s super important to gradually up your water consumption rather than jumping straight in to a higher amount.

Many of my clients have shared similar stories, and through these experiences, we’ve explored various strategies for incorporating more water into their daily routines. Catering to both the chuggers and the sippers. One of my clients, Sarah, a self-described sipper found it challenging to meet her water goals because she preferred to take small sips throughout the day rather than consuming larger amounts at once.

To help her stay on track, we introduced several small but impactful changes to her environment. We placed visually appealing water bottles at strategic locations around her home and in her workspace. Making it easier for her to sip without having to think about it consciously. Over time, these sips added up, helping her to increase her daily water intake without feeling overwhelmed or needing to drastically alter her natural drinking style.

Another client, Patrice, faced a different challenge. With a hectic schedule and frequent business meetings, she often forgot to drink water altogether. So, to combat this, we set up reminders on her phone and used reminders to remind her to drink, one liter before breakfast, one liter before lunch, one liter between lunch and dinner, and then another after. And this worked perfectly for her.

With these examples, it’s clear that whether you’re a chugger or a sipper, the key to successfully being able to drink enough, lies in finding what works for you and your lifestyle and your preferences. So, it’s about making the process of drinking water fit seamlessly into your life so that it feels natural rather than forced.

So, whether you’re trying to adjust to drinking more water, or finding ways to remember to sip throughout the day, remember that small gradual changes are the most sustainable. By adapting your approach to fit your needs, you can ensure that you stay hydrated without it disrupting your daily life.

Okay, so let me give you a few more tips. Making drinking enough water enjoyable can also significantly impact your water intake. So, many folks find that plain water is a little bland, but there are plenty of ways to make it more palatable.

Flavoring your water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or adding slices of fruits like oranges, cucumbers, can enhance the taste without adding many calories. Products like Crystallite or naturally infusing water with fruits can also add a refreshing twist to your water efforts.

Another practical tip is to use what I call displacement as a strategy. For instance, if you’re used to drinking soda, juice, or alcohol, try alternating these with water. Just like I did with coffee. Where I drink a glass of water between cups, you can also apply this same principle to other beverages.

So, if you enjoy juice, consider cutting it with water. Start by mixing half juice and half water and gradually increase the water ratio. To ensure that you remember to drink more, consider using reminders and apps designed to help you to keep track of your water intake. These tools are especially useful if you have a busy schedule and find it challenging to remember to drink water throughout the day.

Additionally, creating a pleasant drinking environment can also encourage drinking more water. Use a water bottle or a glass that you really like. You would be surprised at how well that actually works to have you drink more. Or set up a dedicated drinking station in your home or office with a beautiful pitcher and glasses. This not only makes drinking water more appealing, but it also keeps it within reach.

Okay, so as I wrap up today’s episode, I hope that you feel equipped and inspired to make water a key part of your daily routine. Whether you’re a chugger or a sipper, the goal is to find ways to integrate water into your life that feels natural and enjoyable. And if you’re looking for support and you want to share your water tips and stories, I encourage you to join my Facebook group, ‘The 8 Basic Habits That Healthy Women in Midlife Do.’

It’s a fantastic community where you can connect with others who are also working on enhancing their health through simple, effective habits. Share your experiences, learn from others, and maybe even find a water buddy. So, thank you so much for tuning in today. Don’t forget to check out episode 172, The Foundation version 2.0 to get a broader understanding of all 8 basic habits.

And stay tuned because in the next few weeks, I am going to be diving into habit number two, which is eating vegetables. It’s going to be another great episode filled with practical tips and inspiring stories to help you embrace more greens into your daily meals.

Thank you for joining me today. That’s all I have for you. Have an amazing day everyone. I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye

Thanks for staying with us till the end of this episode. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ and want to connect with a community of like-minded women, I warmly invite you to join our free Facebook group, ‘8 Basic Habits that Women in Midlife Do’.

In this group, we expand on the habits discussed today, sharing experiences, offering support, and celebrating our health journeys together. It’s a space where you can feel understood and encouraged. To join, simply click the link in our show notes. Let’s support and inspire each other in our quest for better health. See you in the group!

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Why Do I Need to Drink Water?
Why Do I Need to Drink Water?