Chances are you’ve heard the mantra, “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.” This is certainly not a bad daily goal as water is crucial for life and when you consider that our bodies are made up of 60% water, you can see that drinking water is essential to good health.
Water should be thought of as an essential nutrient for your body. There are ways in which
to get your “water fix” that include drinking glasses of it, consuming it in other liquids and in water-centric foods (think watermelon as an example). Your body loses large amounts of water daily and it’s crucial that you take steps to replace and replenish it.
Dehydration can occur if you don’t replace the fluids your body loses, and this happens even more quickly in warmer climates and when you’re undertaking vigorous activity. Water can help keep our minds sharp, our skin clear and our organs functioning optimally.
Here are five ways, and reasons, to make certain you’re getting enough water to keep your body health:
- Water can help you control your weight. Eating water-based foods or eating soup can help with calorie control because these foods can help you feel fuller and therefore eat less. Dieters have long understood the benefit of drinking water as a way to control weight.
- If you drink water you will help your body maintain a balance of its fluids. Digestion, circulation, saliva creation, transporting nutrients and regulating your body temperature will occur. If your body is low on fluids your brain will tell you that you’re thirsty. Listen to your body and grab a drink. Remember, even though coffee and many sodas are made with water, they also contain caffeine and sugars and that could lead to sleeplessness and weight gain (from the sugars in the soda)
- Keep your muscles strong and energized by drinking water. Water helps your body maintain its electrolytes and keep your muscles from becoming fatigued. Even if you’re exercising in a swimming pool, you could still become dehydrated and your muscles could become fatigued. Drink up during work outs.
- Your skin will look better if you drink plenty of fluids. Because your skin contains a lot of water and because your skin is the protective barrier to the rest of your body it’s important that you drink plenty of water. Drinking water won’t make wrinkles disappear, but if you’re dehydrated your skin will look more wrinkled and dry; staying hydrated will simply make your skin look healthier.
- Your kidneys transport waste and toxins out of your body’s cells and drinking plenty of water will help your kidneys perform their function. If you’re not drinking enough, you will notice your urine is dark and could have an odor — this is a sign that you need to up your liquid intake so that your urine is light in color and odor free. Drinking plenty of water could also help prevent your body forming kidney stones — a painful by product of dehydration.
How can you get more water:
- Get in the habit of having a beverage (a glass of water) with every meal and snack.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Many of them have a high water content and this will add to your water intake. Consider, too that close to 25% of your fluid intake comes from food.
- Make sure you are drinking beverages that you like. If you are “forcing” yourself to drink something you don’t like, you won’t stick with it. If you like the idea of water, but find it “boring” consider adding a few drops of lemon or lime juice to it.
- Don’t leave home without a beverage — preferably a bottle of water.
- If you’re looking to cut calories, make certain your beverages are low in sugar