Content Reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands

You may be aware that drinking water, in general, is good for your body. However, knowing the specifics of how beneficial it can be and how it can assist you along your journey to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction may inspire you to begin increasing your daily water intake.

There are many benefits of increasing water intake.

Drinking plenty of water every day does much more than simply keeping you hydrated. For example, drinking plenty of water each day allows your body to do the following:

  • Keep a normal body temperature
  • Lubricate and cushion your joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
  • Have more energy
  • Have normal brain functioning
  • Regulate emotions
  • Keep you at a healthy weight
  • Gain proper nutrients and minerals

How much water should you drink each day?

In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of water you should drink is highly individualized and unique. Many will claim that around 4-6 cups per day is sufficient, but depending on your lifestyle, this could vary greatly. If you are highly active in your day-to-day life, this amount should be increased significantly. Alternatively, if you have a medical condition that causes water retention, your water intake should be less than this amount. Either way, seeking the advice of a medical professional is needed to gauge what your daily intake should be to keep you healthy and happy.

Hydration positively impacts your addiction recovery more than you might know.

Not only is water vital for the basic functioning of your body in general, but it also can help curb potential substance cravings. When your body is dehydrated, you may mistake this dehydration for desires of all kinds—drugs, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, greasy foods, etc. By ensuring that you are hydrated, these cravings can lessen throughout your day.

While in addiction recovery, drinking water can help flush out the toxins from the substances you have consumed. This process also helps curb cravings while allowing your body to revert to its normal, healthy state.

It is also important to remember how water can impact your mood along your journey. Addiction recovery is challenging, and when your basic needs are not met, this only makes that journey even more difficult. By remaining adequately hydrated, you can ensure that your mood is more regulated, therefore making the ride a bit smoother. With a more optimistic and willing attitude, drinking water strengthens your ability to thrive as you recover.

5 Ways to Reach Your Hydration Goal

Understanding what proper hydration can do for your recovery journey is only half of the battle. Taking steps to implement more water intake can be a challenging process. Here are five ways to begin increasing your daily water consumption.

#1 Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times.

  • Doing this can prevent you from not having water available to you when you need it. Seeing it on you or near you can also help remind you that you might be thirsty and need to drink more water.

#2 Set multiple alarms on your phone throughout the day.

  • Even if you carry around a water bottle and have access to clean, fresh water at all times, you may still forget to drink water simply out of habit. In this case, it may be helpful to set alarms on your phone to go off throughout the day that reminds you to drink water. You can even program them to say, “Drink water!”

#3 Create sticky note reminders to drink water.

  • Establishing new, daily routines is hard to do. Making sticky notes that say, “Drink water” or “Grab some water” can help you make drinking more water become a new daily habit. Be sure to stick them in various places around your living space to ensure the development of this new habit.

#4 Anytime you eat, drink water.

  • Whenever you have a meal, make sure that you have a large glass of water to accompany it. Even when you have a snack or a small meal, have water with whatever you eat to increase your water intake. Making it a rule of thumb to consume water whenever you eat something can significantly help you be more hydrated.

#5 Replace sugary beverages with water.

  • While sugary drinks can be fun and nice on special occasions, doing so every day is unideal. Instead of regularly drinking sugary beverages, try replacing them with water. If you crave the taste of something sweet, try putting in healthy sweeteners to curb the cravings.

Although it may seem obvious, drinking water is vital for your health. It impacts so many aspects of your daily functioning, including your ability to be sober along your addiction recovery journey. While on this journey, ensuring your hydration is so important for getting your body back to its normal state and helping you curb potential cravings. To figure out how much water you should be drinking daily, contact a health professional to assist you. At Pinelands Recovery of Medford, we have professionals available to help you learn more about the importance of proper hydration for your daily functioning. They can also help you understand how much water you should be drinking each day to fulfill your everyday needs. To learn more about how we can help you learn and grow along your recovery journey, please call us today at (877) 557-5372. Allow us to support you during this process.