You may have heard a somewhat startling statistic—the claim that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. While that statement is all over the internet, we haven’t found the science to back it up*. But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook.
The fact is, given the telltale signs of dehydration, it’s easy to infer that quite a lot of us are not getting enough fluids. Sure, signs of dehydration can also be symptoms of other issues. But more likely than not, plenty of people would benefit by the simple act of regularly drinking more water.
Bottom line? The struggle to stay healthily hydrated is real—and we’re here to help.
Why Hydration Matters
Staying hydrated is a big deal. And we’re not just saying that to sell you another water bottle. Literally, your health depends on it.
Every system in our bodies utilizes water, which accounts for more than half our total body weight. Water helps rid our bodies of toxins and waste, while also transporting vital nutrients to our cells. A lack of water–aka dehydration—can have dangerous consequences.
A review titled Water, Hydration and Health by the National Institutes of Health highlights several potential health concerns related to dehydration. Our cognitive function, gastrointestinal function, kidneys, and heart can all be impaired without adequate hydration. Dehydration can play a role in a number of chronic diseases. It’s also commonly associated with headaches and cranky moods, which we’d sure like to avoid!
Telltale Signs of Dehydration
So, just drink when you’re thirsty, right? Not exactly.
Sure, thirst is a sign of dehydration. Unfortunately, the thirst sensation typically shows up once you’re already dehydrated. What’s more, many older adults no longer experience the sensation of thirst. Therefore it’s important to keep an eye on your fluid intake and be aware of the many signs of dehydration, including:
- Dark, strong-smelling urine
- Infrequent urination
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth, lips, and tongue
- Poor concentration
- Decreased alertness
- Impaired short-term memory
- Altered mood
- Decreased athletic performance
- Muscle cramps
- Sugar cravings
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time for a few big swigs. Try rehydrating with plenty of water and watch to see whether your symptoms improve.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of severe hydration. If you—or someone nearby—is experiencing the following, seek immediate medical help:
- Heart palpitations
How Much Water Do You Really Need?
There’s no exact amount of water (or water-based fluids) you should drink on the daily. Your individual hydration needs depend on a variety factors, such as your height, weight, and health; the climate where you live; and your physical activity level. As a general starting point, however, the National Academy of Science suggests that on average, men should drink three liters and women should drink about two and a quarter liters of fluids per day.
Think about how much water you typically drink. Picture a two-liter bottle, and then some. Do you put that much fluid away every day? Like many people, maybe you need to increase your intake.
Tips For Staying Hydrated
Plenty of people struggle to stay hydrated. Whether busy, distracted, or simply bored by water, sometimes we just don’t drink enough. But don’t despair—there are many wonderful, delicious, and easy ways to whip our hydration habits into shape. We wrote an entire post dedicated to Simple Ways to Drink More Water.
If you’re feeling too sluggish to click through (a warning sign you might be dehydrated), we’ll recap some of the top tips here. First, if plain water simply doesn’t hold much appeal, try sprucing it up. You can add carbonation, a fruit or vegetable infusion, or even a splash of fresh fruit juice. If temperature is an issue, take your water to whichever extreme you prefer—pour it over ice, or try tea hydration with a big tumbler full of brew.
Of course, keeping a beloved reusable bottle close at hand is a great way to ensure you’ll drink regularly throughout each day. We’re confident that an Avana® bottle should be your hydration bestie—and here’s why.
First, an Avana bottle goes the extra mile to help you drink when you might not otherwise. For example, when you’re driving and busy keeping your eyes on the road, the genius design of the FreeSip® spout lets you drink with the bottle held upright—meaning your field of vision stays nice and clear.
Whatever temperature beverage you prefer, your Avana bottle will have your back. Thanks to triple-walled vacuum insulation, your icy cold water will stay that way for up to 24 hours. (We can’t count the times we’ve found our bottles full of ice even beyond the next day.) On the flip side, if you prefer hot drinks like coffee and tea, they’ll stay nice and toasty for up to 12 hours.
With your goal of staying hydrated, you’ll want a bottle that’s easy to carry wherever you go. Avana bottles tick that box, too, with clever carry handles and leak-proof lids. And finally, let’s face it—looks do matter. And at the risk of sounding anything but humble, Avana bottles are undeniably beautiful.
So grab your favorite bottle (or shop for a new one), fill it with whatever fluid floats your boat, and drink up!
* In digging for the facts, we found that this claim stems from a 1998 survey looking at American consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and how these diuretic drinks counteract the effects of proper hydration.