In my mind, water is the real super hero in a healthy diet. Many of us walk around in a state of dehydration without even knowing it. When we are thirsty we often interpret thirst as hunger, which causes us to grab a snack, instead of hydrating our body. Throughout my life I have been terrible with drinking water, and I have realized recently that many more people believe that they “hate water” or have trouble drinking it. Let’s review just some of the many things water does for us to keep us alive and healthy:
Maintains fluid balance in your body. The fluids in our body aid in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transport of nutrients, and help maintain body temperature
When we don’t have enough water when we exercise our muscles fatigue .
Dehydrated skin looks wrinkly- so drink up!
Water intake also helps the kidneys do their job. When the kidneys can’t work efficiently from dehydration, our pee turns yellow (you want it to be clear)
Water also helps bowel movements and prevents constipation. Healthy diet= Healthy bowel movements.
How much water is enough?
The most common measurement given is 64 ounces of water a day- so eight glasses. Many water bottles are 28 or 32 ounces. Keep in mind that the water that you drink when you exercise doesn’t count towards those 64 ounces because you are replenishing your loss while sweating in exercise session. If you are a caffeinated coffee drinker, you should drink one cup of water for one cup of coffee in addition to your 64 ounces, as caffeine dehydrates you (same thing with alcohol).
Do you really need to drink all of that plain water?
Many vegetables and fruit have water, which do hydrate you. Soups, smoothies, and juices all count towards your water intake. Coconut water, maple water, herbal tea, and seltzer all count towards your water requirement.
What if you really hate drinking water?
Here is what I have discovered, once you start drinking water, you will continue. A participant in a recent wellness event I led said it best:
“It’s like you need to find your gateway cup”
Find some way to get yourself to drink that first cup of water. Try to do it when you first wake up in the morning- maybe add some fresh lemon or lime to your water. Buy a cup or water bottle you like, or a fun squiggly straw- ANYTHING that helps you drink that first cup, and then the gates will open up to your body wanting more hydration and not hating the idea of drinking water so much.
The summer weather has rolled in fast, let’s pack up our beach bags, slather on our sunscreen, and cheers to a great healthy summer of 2015- with a glass of water in one hand and maybe some fresh sangria in the other!