Water- And Why You Probably Need To Drink More
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?
Let's start with the WHY?
- Have you ever heard: by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated?! Its true!
- Your body is made of about 60 % water! Its important for all functions from digestion to detox to circulation and nerve function. Sweating, urine and tears all mean that as it comes in, it also leaves.
- You do get some replacement of liquid in food, but its likely not even half the amount you need.
- Dehydration affects how well your body works. Without enough water, you can feel sluggish, headachy or tired. Its also affecting all of your organs and their function. Drinking more water give you energy, a more clear 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 fibre. If you do not have regular trips to the bathroom, you could possibly be dehydrated.
- 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.
Okay- 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 person to person. For example, if you live in the tropics and have a physical job where you sweat a lot, you will need to replenish more often that a person who works indoors in a climate controlled environment in a non active job.
A great way of knowing how much, is to drink until your urine is clear. You probably don't pay attention, but next trip to the bathroom do! 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 include this tip with the tips below. Nobody knows your body better than you.
Often times when people feel 'hungry' they are thirsty. 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.
In general, if you have 6-8 glasses of water each day, you are on the right track! According to a market research survey I saw recently, 42% of people have only 2 glasses of water per day, if that's you, you definitely need more! Water is best consumed throughout the day, and not all at once.
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, herbal tea are best.
Tips for drinking more water:
- Buy yourself a new water bottle that you like, and find handy 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, and again last thing before bed. This might mean a trip to the bathroom at night, so you can do late evening instead if you want. This will likely mean 2 extra glasses than what you have now.
- Put a sticky note on your computer, or your mirror, or your fridge. Somewhere that you look at often, that says DRINK MORE WATER. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder.
Okay- time to go grab a drink!...... of water, that is ;-)
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.
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