Do you drink water? Do you drink enough water? How much is enough? Most general health nuts will say an average of 8 glasses of water is sufficient for “proper” water intake. Oddly enough, we are all different shapes, sizes, and have different goals, so shouldn’t we eat and drink accordingly? The number one reason for daytime fatigue is dehydration. While a few sips of water may not immediately feel as energizing and strong as a cup of coffee or soda, the benefits are greater and the water is more easily utilized by the body.
While many of us only reach for a cup of water because we have already brushed our teeth and don’t want to ruin that by drinking something colored or sugared up, or we have been slaving away at the gym or have spent the day in the sun, it’s important to note that by the time we feel thirsty- dehydration has already set in! When dehydration occurs, metabolism is slowed, digestion of food through the body is slowed, making it harder for excretion, and general function is impaired. Without water, a multitude of events would not be possible in the body. Internal temperature regulation, vitamin and mineral solubility and absorption, waste flushing through the kidneys, lubrication of the joints, and chemical reactions are among the many lesser-known reasons why water is important. For the most part, people see water as important for only replacing what is sweated out, fighting infection, and for quenching thirst, but the benefits are countless.
Knowing how to get the right amount of water for your own body is imperative to good health. Drinking a glass in the morning is a great way to start the day and may set off a chain-reaction of positive dietary and lifestyle choices. Those who are very active, spend extra time outside, or work out should take into consideration drinking more water. Before, during and after workouts, it is important to drink plenty of water-enough to feel satisfied but not physically overwhelmed. A good rule of thumb is to drink not only when thirsty, but throughout the day. Urine color may be a good indicator of adequate intake if it appears clear to pale yellow. If it is deep in color, generally dehydration has already taken place and is more concentrated than it is diluted with water.
Don’t Care for Water? Here Are Some Tips to Drink More
1.Spice it up.
Squeeze lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange juice into a glass of water for a more exciting taste. Steeping a cut up apple with cinnamon in a large pitcher overnight gives water a more decadent taste. Freeze fruit and use as ice cubes throughout the day for added flavor, then enjoy them at the end of the glass.
2.Spread it out.
Don’t force yourself to chug an entire gallon of water at once. Set mini goals to reach each day and actively decide to drink a specific amount each time. Order only water at restaurants and gradually it will become more refreshing. Save those extra calories from ordering a drink and enjoy a “less guilty” meal.
3.Track your progress.
Use an app, such as Myfitnesspal to count your successes. Being accountable each day and seeing results is the best motivation for positive dietary habits. Buy a jug or bottle that is large or easily refillable to enjoy more water in.
Start drinking more water today and watch your health drastically improve. Incorporating this essential nutrient into your diet is the easiest way to ease into a nutritious lifestyle and has endless benefits.