the importance of hydration
Chronic Illness

The importance of hydration for those with chronic illness (and everyone!)

The road to feeling better

Having a chronic illness means that there are some really bad days where I just don’t feel good. There may not even be a certain cause or pain point, I just feel like laying in bed all day and doing nothing. But, having a busy schedule means that I can’t always afford to lay down and rest when I am not feeling good, which has forced me to consider how to feel better naturally on those bad days.

One thing that helps me immensely is hydration. It sounds so simple and obvious, but it is very easy to forget to drink water. Some days, I will realize I have a horrible headache notice that I’ve hardly drank any water that day.

drink water and take care of yourself

How much should we be hydrating?

Like me, I am sure you have read all kinds of things online and seen many different videos about hydration. It’s hard to know if we are doing enough, or if we are doing too much.

I did a little bit of my own research and really liked an article from Mayo Clinic. They stated that there is no easy answer to this question, and that studies have shown a lot of different results over the years. Water intake is dependent on a lot of different health factors, including where you live and how often you exercise.

When you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out its daily functions, that is when you experience dehydration, which can lead to low energy.

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine stated that these are good daily fluid intakes:

daily fluid intake

This is a daily fluid intake, so it also includes water from other drinks as well as food, which both of those categories take up about 20%. Therefore, the other 80% should be from drinking water!

When I see those metrics, it’s hard for me to picture just how much fluid that is.

For women, 11.5 cups comes out to 92 ounces. If about 20% of that is from food and other drinks, then I should drink about 73.6 ounces give or take.

I use a water bottle every day that is 46 ounces (the Yeti Rumbler), so I should drink a full one of those and then at least more than half of another bottle.

It can vary for each person, however, so it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional if you want to look more into your personal hydration needs.

How can I start drinking more water?

Here are a few tips I have to help you consume more water:

  • Fill up your water bottle right before bed and put it on your bedside table so that you wake up and immediately drink it.
  • Bring a cute water bottle to work.
  • Set a timer for once an hour to take a few drinks of water.
  • Have an accountability buddy.
how to increase your water intake


How do electrolytes help with hydration?

Electrolytes are certain minerals (i.e., calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium ions) that are necessary for our health. They direct water to areas of the body where it is needed and maintains water balance.

If you want to get in a good, hydrating electrolyte mix, that can be really helpful for your hydration journey.

I really love Ultima Replenisher:

ultima refresher

I love that this is sugar-free but still has a good taste. And it has 0 calories and 0 carbs! If you don’t love the taste of drinking normal water, this is the way to go. When you find something you like, it can inspire you to get those fluids in a little bit more!

Check out Ultima Replenisher on Amazon here!

Don’t get discouraged!

Every day is a new day, so if you didn’t do well with hydrating your body yesterday, that’s okay. There is always a new opportunity to turn things around. The path to better health is not always linear.

I have realized that when I am well hydrated, I overall feel a lot better. I feel more energized, and I don’t get as many headaches.

Hydration is a great way to thank your body for helping you with its everyday functions! Especially while your body is fighting chronic illness.

Read more about hydration

The Importance of Hydration

10 Reasons Why Hydration is Important

Battling Negative Thoughts as a Young Adult

3 ways to relax during a stressful week



  • Charli Dee

    Thanks for the reminder. I don’t drink as much water as I should really. My problem is I drink to many sugary drinks. I’ve been doing a bit better though with water lately though! I’ve been using a water bottle that measures the amount of water you’re drinking like the one you mentioned. Most of the time when I feel like drinking juice I try to go for that water bottle! Lol. I think my kidneys will thank me!

  • Catherine

    I grew up with my mom always making us drink water! I’m very thankful for that because I drink it everyday now. I try to inform my friends and husband about why it’s so important!

  • Barbara

    I am always shocked by how little water we consume, resulting in constant walking dehydration. It is such a simple concept to drink water, yet most fail.

  • Catherine Kay

    So many people are chronically dehydrated. I was one of those people. I still struggle with “remembering” to drink because I hardly ever get thirsty. I’ve come a long way – I just wish my kids would listen to me about drinking water and how important it is, especially in a dry climate where we live in Montana.

  • Chen Peggy

    Great blog post! Staying hydrated is crucial for everyone, especially individuals with chronic illness. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Kathy

    Besides counting the glasses of water I drink, I also pay attention to how dark my urine is. If it’s dark yellow, I know I’m behind on my water intake. If it’s pale yellow, I know I’m doing good at staying hydrated. I think I learned this in nursing school.

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