What do you, the trees, and every animal have in common? We all drink and require water to survive! One of my most important health goals this year is to simply drink more water! I honestly believe this is the number one step to better health and wholeness. It is the most practical and frugal step we can both take this year to better health. Without water, our bodies will die in a matter of a few days. Water makes up more than half of our bodies. Water is necessary for every part of our bodies to function properly.
Why drink more water? It…
- Increases your energy. Adults lose as much as 10 cups of fluid each day through sweating, exhauling, urination, and bowel movements. Water provides more oxygen which is necessary to burn fat and allow your body and brain to function at their fullest potential.
- Sustains healthy skin. Did you know that water is the single most important element for cellular health? Water moistures your skin inside and out, so the more you drink, the less likely you will have problems with dry skin.
- Regulates the body’s temperature by allowing you to sweat. Water regulates the body’s cooling system.
- Elminates toxins. Water is essential for your digestive tract to function properly. Water helps get rid of excess nitrogen, urea and ketones.
- Moves nutrients and other substance throughout the body. Water is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream.
- Helps assist in weight loss and balance. Dehydration decreases protein synthesis, the task of building muscle. With water, fat gets burned and converted to energy. Without its presence, fat increases.
- Reduce Your Risk of Disease and Infection. Body cells deteriorate when they are not hydrated and will be susceptible to attack from various diseases: heart disease for one. These cells will try to draw water from other places like heart, which will then have to work harder to pump blood causing additional problems.
• Get Well: Water helps restore the body. It can help control a fever, replace lost fluids and thin out mucus.
How much water?
To determine your specific recommended water intake, divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., try to drink 75 ounces of water daily.
In order to form the habit of drinking more water, it is important that you start small. Don’t try to drink 75 ounces the first day! Start by tracking your current consumption and add 8 more ounces each day or so. I regularly drink at least 28 oz a day (which is one water bottle full), but my next step is to bump that up to two water bottles. I will fill my water bottle up in the morning. My goal will be to complete that bottle by noon before proceeding onto the next bottle.
If you need further help, check out the water calculator. The water calculator will also help take into account if you are pregnant, nursing, sick, elevation, etc.
How to drink more water?
– Designate and label a special water bottle for your personal use. Fill it up first thing in the morning. Make it one of your most important tasks to begin the day. Try to keep the bottle with you wherever you go. If you are at home most of the day, you might want multiple bottles to place in different rooms.
– Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes. When the timer rings, drink a glass of water.
– Add lemons to your water to improve the taste, if desired.
– Drink quality herbal teas to increase your fluids.
How to get the kiddos to drink more water?
Children need water to function properly as well. They are more prone to ignore the thirsty signs especially when they are in focused play, resulting in dehydration, headaches, pain and fatigue. Watch out for juices and sodas though. They may add fluids, but they also add sugars that decrease the health of their bodies.
Encourage the kiddos to drink more by:
- Providing them with a special water bottle of their own. Karis has a special green sippy cup that she loves.
- Allowing them to keep the special cup with them in bed or in the car.
- Adding Emergen-C or other special healthy supplement powder to their water. We add Emergen-C to Karis’ water and she calls it her “juice”. Helps increase her vitamin intake as well.
- Set the example! The more water my children see me drinking and enjoying, the more they will desire it as well. Every time I take a drink, I offer my kids a drink. They need reminders and normally drink just fine.
A final caution…
Drink Little With Your Food.
According to nutritionist Lori Lipinski, “…Simply drinking too much water with your meals can affect your ability to properly breakdown your food. Drinking too much liquid with meals dilutes the concentration of hydrochloric acid and enzymes needed for proper digestion. So to get the most out of the foods you eat, it is best to avoid drinking lots of liquids 20-30 minutes before and after your meals.”
My water bottles are filled and now I am off to drink them! Care to join me and keep me accountable? Do you have any tips to share for increasing your water intake?