Water is the most important substance on earth, and in the human body. We all know it’s important to drink water, but why? And how much is enough?
Have you ever heard, “by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated”? It’s true!
Your body is made of about 60 % water! It’s important for all functions from digestion to detox to circulation and nerve function. Sweating, urine and tears all mean that what comes in, also goes out.
You do get some replacement of liquid in food, but it’s likely not even half the amount you need. A lot of foods are very hydrating, especially raw fruit and vegetables. Try eating a juicy apple, a slice of watermelon and other fruit to help become more hydrated. Try to remember that when you have a choice between something dry and something full of water, choose the thing that is full of water.
Why it is so important to drink water:
• Dehydration affects how well your body works. Without enough water, you can feel sluggish, headachy, or tired. It also affects all of your organs and their function. Drinking more water gives you energy, a clearer mind, and a happier mood!
• Our digestive system needs water to function properly. We need water to flush out waste in our urine and sweat. Without enough water, these wastes accumulate in our body leading to a variety of toxic symptoms.
• To have regular bowel movements, we need a combination of water and
• Muscles need a regular supply of water to avoid muscle fatigue. Yes, even your muscles can be dehydrated! Lack of water means electrolyte imbalance and weakness. Exercise is a lot easier if you are well hydrated!
• Not taking in enough water is linked to many chronic conditions including diabetes, kidney stones, migraines and depression (among many others).
• Your skin needs to stay hydrated. For those of us that go through dry, cold winters- drinking more water will help with the itchy dry skin! Water helps the cells regenerate, and drinking more can help you get the glowing skin you wish you had.
So, how much water is enough?
• Water requirements for different people are very different. The climate you live in, your activity level, your size, and your diet vary from person to person. For example, if you live in a hot dry climate and have a physical job where you sweat a lot, you will need to replenish more often than a person who works indoors in a climate controlled environment in a non-active job.
• Most people need to drink the equivalent of half their body weight in ounces. So, if you are a 150-pounds, drink 75 ounces of water each day. *Note, this is just a guide; you should also go by your thirst level. Start with this amount, and if you’re still thirsty, drink more. But, try to at least drink this much water each day.
• A great way of knowing how much to drink is to drink enough water until your urine is clear. You probably don’t pay attention, but on your next trip to the bathroom have a look! If you pay attention to your habits and how often you drink you will start to know when you have had enough just by looking in the toilet. Sounds crazy? Maybe a little bit, but pay attention anyway. Nobody knows your body better than you.
• Often times when people feel hungry, they are really just thirsty. Our thirst mechanism and our hunger mechanism are very similar. Start with a glass of water, and see if you are still hungry after that. This is also a great weight loss tip – it can save you from snacking when your body is just really asking for water.
• Don’t guzzle your water. It’s not good for you to drink too much water too fast. If you’re letting yourself get so thirsty that you’re downing a 32-ounce bottle of water in five minutes that is not a good idea. It can be dangerous to drink too much water too fast. Instead, try to give yourself water in smaller amounts all throughout the day.
• One last note – soda pop and coffee do not count. The caffeine and sugar are dehydrating and counter the benefit of the water you are drinking. Pure water or herbal teas are best.
Tips for drinking more water:
• Buy yourself a new water bottle that you like, and try to keep it with you all the time. I prefer either glass or stainless steel – this will help you avoid all those terrible plastic chemicals.
• Make a habit of drinking a glass of water first thing when you wake up, throughout the day and into the evening. Don’t drink with your meals; you should have a glass of water 30 minutes before your meal and start drinking again 30 minutes after. This way it allows your digestive enzymes to do their job with your newly-eaten food, rather than being washed away.
• Put a sticky note on your computer, or your mirror, or your fridge – somewhere that you will see often – that says “DRINK MORE WATER.” Or simply set an alarm on your phone to go off every hour to remind you.
Sometimes all we need is a little reminder!
Dehydration can make you very tired and sap you of energy. It can also make you sick. Not drinking enough water can cause chronic headaches, dry skin, dry eyes, and kidney problems.
When something is as simple as drinking more water to boost your energy, you should do it. It makes it one of the least expensive beauty treatments ever!
Okay, time to go grab a drink… of water, that is!