We’ve all heard it a million times, haven’t we?  Eight glasses of water a day for optimum health. 

When I was younger I always associated drinking water with weight loss, detoxes, and the oh so coveted clear radiant skin.  Truth be told, hormonal balance never even entered into my mind.  

And yet, drinking enough water every day is key if we want to keep our endocrine system happy and our hormones humming.  This is even truer if you are trying to conceive.

How much water should we be drinking anyway?

Since our bodies are 60% water, it’s no surprise that we need more than a couple of glasses to keep things running smoothly.

Women should aim for 2.75 liters a day, .5 of which can come from water rich fruits and vegetables.  Men need a little more and should aim for 3 liters from water alone.  

Whoa! Are you serious?  Yep.

Why You Definitely Want to Start Drinking Up

Your reproductive organs may be missing out.  

Since water is so essential to how our major organs function, when the body isn’t well hydrated it will give priority to our vital organs first.  Hint: Your uterus and your ovaries aren’t part of that list.

Drinking enough water helps increase circulation to your uterus.

This ensures that the uterine lining has a strong blood supply and will be ready and waiting for implantation.

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Staying hydrated can improve egg health.

Without sufficient water, your body can’t deliver necessary nutrients to the maturing egg cells.  Also remember that the follicles are basically fluid-filled sacs so they will suffer too from chronic dehydration.

Your cervical mucus needs it.

Cervical mucus is ideally 96% water just before ovulation, so it only makes sense that your production of cervical mucus will go down when you’re not drinking as much as you should.  P.S. The most difficult cervical mucus for sperm to get through has a low water content because it’s too thick.

It aids in detoxification.

One of the reasons why those popular detox diets advocate drinking a lot of water is because it’s a tried and true method for flushing out toxins from the body.  Which brings me to my next point . . .

It keeps you regular, thus aiding in hormonal balance.

Did you know having regular bowel movements (and by regular I mean AT LEAST one every morning) is essential to hormonal balance?

Because this is such an important point that most women have no idea about, let’s break it down a little further.

Every day between 3 P.M. and 3 A.M. your liver is busy at work metabolizing and breaking down toxins from the body.  This not only includes the pesticide residues from that non-organic apple you had at lunch but also excess estrogen. 

When our bodies are working at top speed, estrogen is broken down by the liver in a two-step detoxification process before it’s sent to the gallbladder and passed on to the large intestine.  If you are drinking lots of water and a diet full of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, these inactivated hormones are pushed out through the back door in your morning bowel movement.  

But what happens when your bowels aren’t moving as regularly as they should?  Well if you’re not drinking enough water, chances are the contents of your colon are sticking around longer than they should, allowing the metabolized hormones to re-enter your blood stream.  And yes, this is bad news.  An excess of estrogen will cause problems when it comes to your cycle, your sex drive, your mood, and—you guessed it—your fertility.

Your body thinks you’re stressed.

Even though things are cool and you’re not particularly stressed out about anything (remember those ten minutes two weeks ago?) your adrenal glands will start pumping out more cortisol when you’re even mildly dehydrated.  When you’re trying to conceive, the last thing you want is an excess of cortisol because it will leave you with less progesterone, something that most of us are in short supply of anyway.

Are you reaching for a glass of water yet?

A couple days ago in my Facebook group, Fertile As I Wanna Be, I asked the ladies what usually prevents them from drinking as much as they should.  Some of the reasons included . . .

“I don’t like to pee all the time.”

“I never feel thirsty.”

“I just forget, I guess.”

“I’m too busy taking care of everyone else.”

I get it.  A lot of us don’t remember to start sipping until we are already thirsty, which by the way is your body saying that it’s already bought a one-way ticket to Dehydration Station.  And if you’re thinking that you’re in the clear because you hardly drink any water but you’re never thirsty either, your body is most likely dehydrated too.

When it comes to drinking more water, keep these tips in mind . . .

Drink at least 2 liters of pure FILTERED water every day.  

I like to have 1 liter upon rising and another midday.  I drink throughout the afternoon, but the bulk of my water intake happens before 1PM.

Use glass or stainless steel in favor of plastic.

You’ve probably heard that plastic is bad news for fertility, so it’s time to make a change if you’re constantly drinking bottled water.  That being said, if you are out and about from time to time and bottled water is your only option, drink up! 

Drink the majority of your water between meals.

There’s nothing wrong with sipping a glass with lunch, but drinking more than that is likely to lead to bloating and poor digestion.  Hard pass.

Drink extra water in the days leading up to your period and while you’re bleeding.

Since your reproductive organs are so close to your bowels, constipation will make you feel even more uncomfortable during that time of the month.  Drinking more water will also ease the bloated feeling that comes from progesterone and estrogen being low at the beginning of your period.  This is especially important for women who experience heavy bleeding as all that blood loss can also result in that low-level dehydration we should all be trying to avoid.

Whatever you do, stay away from the tap water.

Please please please invest in a water filtration system, even if it’s just a pitcher with a carbon/ion-exchange filter.  They’ve found everything from BPA to birth control pills in conventional tap water so you’ll only be doing yourself a favor by steering clear.

Are you feeling motivated to drink more water?  It’s a simple change that could mean a lot not only for your fertility but your overall health as a woman. Raise your glasses, ladies. It’s time to drink up!

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