I think many 20-somethings have a tendency to ignore their health. Whether it's because you're in college, because you think you're too busy, or maybe you're too broke, sometimes taking care of yourself can seem like a hassle or even an impossibility. And considering most 20-somethings often tend to think, "I'm young! I'm healthy! What could happen to me?" it kind of makes it easy to excuse your lack of attention to your health. I know I've certainly been that way for the past several years.
Now, though, I've started to notice the negative effects of not taking care of myself. Strange illnesses and health issues, small but obnoxious chronic problems. Most of these could probably be remedied by taking better care of myself: eating healthy foods, getting more sleep, and exercising more often.
One of the big things I've decided I want to start trying to rectify immediately, though, is how little water I drink. I'm not a big drinker of liquids in general. I can go most days with drinking less than half a glass of any given beverage. I'm just not that thirsty usually. Considering that often what I do drink is soda or tea, which are often diuretics, I'm thinking my fluid consumption might actually be somewhere in the negative range. A couple of weeks ago, I got a UTI, and it finally drove home the fact that I need to drink more water, all the time, not just when I'm sick as I usually do.
You need water to remove waste and toxins from the body, to keep all your moist parts (ear, nose, throat, joints) moist, and also to carry nutrients. Not drinking enough water can lead to all kinds of problems: heartburn, constipation, chronic joint pain, headaches, chronic fatigue, and a whole lot of other really rotten things that you probably don't want to deal with...like a UTI.
While I've read a lot of different recommendations about how much water you should drink each day (the consensus seems to lie somewhere around 8 glasses a day), the amount you should drink can vary depending on your weight, how much you exercise, your environment, and any health conditions you might have. I found a very cool calculator that tabulates how much water you should drink daily depending on your specific situation. What I've found out is that I'm coming in almost 50 oz. short of how much water I should be drinking every day. That's a pretty big deficit!
To remedy my personal aversion to drinking water, my next goal is to buy a good water bottle that holds 50 oz. of water, fill it up every morning before I go to work, and drink it all before I go to bed every night. It's pretty daunting for someone who almost never drinks anything, but I think my body will thank me for it later.