What is the easiest thing you can do to improve your health today? I’ll give you a hint. You can do it without even getting out of bed. It’s Drinking Water!
There are so many health benefits to drinking water. I know you’ve heard them all before. But it really is that easy!
Let me remind you of a few of the health benefits of getting liquids in general.
1. Maintains your fluid balance. The body is 2/3rds water. We are constantly using water for everyday functions like digestion, circulation, and even maintaining your body temperature (sweating). When your body is lacking it will send you a ‘thirst’ message that we are all familiar with. Don’t ignore this! Drink up!
2. It can help control calorie intake. Sometimes we get the ‘I need nutrients’ signal from our brain and confuse it for hunger. Often times, what your body really wants is water. Obviously, this is not an excuse to only drink water. Make sure you are still eating at intervals and if you start to feel faint, grab something to snack on. Just make sure you are drinking water to keep your ‘I need nutrient’ signals at bay.
3. Energy. Water helps to give your body energy. Cells that don’t get the nutrients they need will shrink and dry up. This will lead to muscle fatigue. Doctors recommend drinking water throughout exercise to keep your cells hydrated. This will prevent spasming and fatigue of your muscles.
4. Healthy Skin! Your skin needs lots of water to do its job. Dehydration causes skin to look dry and wrinkly. We put lotion on our dry skin to help, but this really acts as a barrier to help keep moisture in. We need the moisture in our skin to start with, so make sure you are sipping throughout the day.
5. It helps your kidneys function. I am one of the lucky people to have experienced a kidney stone. Let me tell you…those that say it’s worse than childbirth are probably right. I will confirm with you once I pop a baby out of my own, but I DO know that kidney stone just straight up SUCK! Water helps your kidneys filter out toxins and when they build up in your kidneys they clump together and cause pain. Sometimes they need to be surgically removed. One way to make sure that you are properly filtering your kidneys is to check the color of your urine. If it is clear or light, you know you are getting enough water.
6. Helps digestion. Water keeps things moving through your digestive system and will help make you more regular. Doctors recommend fiber and water as the number one combination to help get rid of constipation.
So How Can I Make Myself Drink More Water?
There are many small things you can do throughout the day to help make sure your body is properly hydrated.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to go around eating watermelon everyday to get healthy fruit hydration. About 20% of your daily water intake actually comes from your food. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with water and can help keep you hydrated.
Choose drinks that you love. I used to be one that hated the taste of water. I was convinced I could taste the water piping and dirt. I started off by adding enhancers to my water or cutting up fruit to give it a great healthy taste. I substituted it for sodas and still got my flavor in.
Keep a water bottle near you. You can’t drink something that isn’t there. Find a fun cute water bottle if that is something you think might motivate you. There are many different water bottles out there to meet your needs. You just have to look.
Have a beverage with every meal. Make sure that you keep sipping after every bite or every few bites. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will make you feel full faster. You won’t shovel as much food into your mouth leading to lower caloric intake.
Keep track. Personal trainers recommend drinking half of your body weight in water. No I don’t mean literally. What they mean is…let’s say you weigh 160 lbs. Divide that number in half. That is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day! A 160 lb person should be drinking 80 oz of water a day. 8oz in a cup. This person should be drinking 10 cups of water a day. Keep in mind that this is an 8oz cup. Pint glasses are 2 cups. These are the standard sized water glasses when you eat out. A Standard Nalgene Water Bottle is 32 Oz. Keep it filled and you will easily make your water intake goal.
I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to drink more water. Be careful about that liquids you drink. Caffeinated drinks like soda and alcohol will actually dehydrate you. I will talk more about how to pick your liquids on my next blog post, so stay tuned!
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Look here for yesterday’s “Take the Stairs” Post