College = grind. Balancing school, a job and a social life can be draining. That’s why many students turn to a morning coffee (or, in my case, an energy drink) to get them going. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself, but anybody who drinks caffeine can tell you that one coffee a day leads to two which leads to three and so on as your body builds up a tolerance to caffeine.
I think replacing some of those drinks with water can do a world of good. I’m not saying to ditch the caffeine, I could never do that. However, I don’t find myself craving caffeine as much on days that I make it an emphasis to drink more water. When drinking a good amount of water in a day becomes more of a habit, I start to notice the other benefits.I feel better, think clearer, and surprisingly have more energy (you know, that thing I was trying to accomplish in the first place.)
I feel better, think clearer, and surprisingly have more energy…
It can be easy to forget to drink water. In the past, I only drank when I felt thirsty. Usually I wouldn’t have a water bottle with me, either, so I would have to find a fountain or buy a bottle from a vending machine. Part of making drinking a good amount of water a habit is to have a water bottle with you at all times. Some people like to buy a nice reusable hard plastic water bottle to keep their water in. I find myself just using a bottle of ‘Cyclone Water’ from one of the C-Stores on campus.
But how much water do you need? Probably the most common answer to that question is ‘eight glasses of water a day’. But is that true? I’m definitely not qualified to answer that question myself, so I consulted the Mayo Clinic’s page on water consumption. They recommend the following amounts:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
They’re also very careful to note that these are just general guidelines and everybody’s needs are different. If you do a lot of sweating, you’ll want to up your intake. If you eat a lot of food with high water content, you won’t need to drink as much in a liquid form. There’s also a big difference in the needs of a 240-pound linebacker and a 110-pound non-athlete. They also say that the ‘eight glasses of water a day’ advice is a pretty reasonable and medically-sound goal.
But how is water going to make me less dependent on coffee?
The Mayo Clinic also answers that question. As it turns out, mild dehydration (which is extremely common, and you probably have it often without knowing) can often cause a loss of energy. So, if you up your water intake you can stave off those adverse effects. That’s probably why I notice my energy going up on days that I drink a lot of water.
I’m not going to list all the benefits of drinking a lot of water here, there’s just too many. Google it for yourself if you need some more convincing.
I encourage you to up your water intake – your body will thank you.