Water is one of the most important things you put in your body each day.

It helps your body remove toxins by flushing waste, which keeps your kidneys healthy and helps you stay regular. Water keeps your body temperature normal. And drinking enough water will help lubricate and cushion your joints and protect your spinal cord.2 Not sold yet? Consider this: Even mild dehydration can impact your mood and memory.1

How much is enough?

Remembering to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water is helpful and healthful. Your total liquid intake needs, however, are influenced age, activity level, environment and illness. Liquids can also come from other beverages, as well as fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. These include cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, pears, celery, carrots, lettuce and cabbage.1
Graphic showing the average ounces of liquid required by men and women

Making water more convenient to drink will help you reach your health goals.1

Consider these tips to stay hydrated:

  • Keeping a pitcher of water on your kitchen counter
  • Having a water bottle ready in your car
  • Keeping a water bottle at your desk
  • Setting an alert on your phone reminding you to drink throughout the day
  • Stopping by the watercooler on your way to or from the restroom
  • Getting a water bottle that has measurements on it so you’ll know how much you’ve had to drink

Choices in hydration

Plain water is always best for hydration. Depending on where you live and your source, tap water could meet your needs. Visiting the beverage aisle at any grocery store will tell a different story. How do they differ?

  • Bottled water: It is simply that. In most cases, the water you find in bottles is tap water from somewhere that’s been filtered or treated for consistency.
  • Seltzer water, club soda or sparkling water: Fizzy water is not all created equal. Seltzer or soda water is just plain carbonated water. Club soda kicks it up with the addition of minerals for taste. Sparkling mineral water comes from underground springs with natural carbonation.
  • Alkaline water: Contains a higher pH level than normal water due to a higher mineral or salt content.
  • Flavored water: Contains some sort of flavoring, either natural or chemical.
  • Infused water: It gets its flavoring right from the source. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are steeped in water, then strained like tea and served. The best part? You can make it yourself.

Try these combinations3 for making your own infused water

Cucumber water Add two thinly sliced medium cucumbers into a pitcher of water and ice. Looking for more flavor? Add slices of lime and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Let it steep for 4 – 8 hours and serve cold.

Sweet orange and blueberry water Add three sliced Mandarin oranges and two handfuls of blueberries to a pitcher of water. Let it sit overnight to infuse.

Summer refreshing drink made with grapefruit and rosemary
Grapefruit and rosemary water Add two grapefruits, cut into wedges with the rinds removed, to a pitcher. Fill halfway with water and press on the fruit to release its juice. Add two fresh rosemary sprigs and cover with ice and water. Let it sit overnight before serving.

Ginger mango water Add 4 1-inch pieces of fresh ginger root and 1 cup of mango chunks to a pitcher. Cover with water and ice and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours before serving.

Citrus water in a glass with mint.
Lemon orange mint water Thinly slice a lemon and an orange and add to a pitcher. Add roughly ripped-up mint leaves. Let it sit overnight.

Strawberry basil water Add 4 slices of lemon, 4 strawberries cut into halves and a handful of fresh basil leaves to a pitcher. Cover with ice and water. Let it infuse for 2-3 hours.

Fresh drink made with grape, lime and basil leaves.
Grape basil water Add 4 handfuls of thinly sliced grapes, 20-24 fresh basil leaves and a squeeze of lime to a pitcher. Fill with water and serve.

Watermelon mint water Add watermelon and fresh mint to a pitcher, cover with ice and fill with water. Let it sit for 2-8 hours and serve.

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Now that you know how much water to drink, here are 5 more habits to help you age healthier.

Published May 8, 2024


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