Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Water works

Water is essential for good health.

Every part of our bodies from our skin to our brains count on water to function. If something as simple as drinking more water can improve one of our greatest gifts, our health, then I propose we drink up!


(I'll wait here why you go get yourself some water)



I'm not going to lecture you on the benefits of drinking water because (I am not qualified to do so and) I'm kind of thirsty.


In a nutshell, here are the top motivators to get ME to drink more water.


H2O:

  • Suppresses my appetite naturally and aids in digestion
  • Provides me energy throughout the day (seriously!)
  • Keeps my skin clear and healthy
  • Cushions and lubricates bones and joints allowing me to preform better in the gym
  • Transports nutrients throughout my entire body
  • Helps maintain my hard-earned muscle
  • Reduces water retention
  • Increases my metabolism
Speaking of metabolism, I recently read 3 interesting claims about the impact water can make on this very subject:
  1. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that drinking about two cups of cool water on an empty stomach resulted in a 30 percent leap in metabolism.
  2. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3% (according to an article referenced on definingedge.ca). GULP!
  3. Researchers at the University of Utah found that subjects who drank eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those who only drank half as much.
Just reading these three points again are good enough reasons for me to commit to drinking more water.

While the experts agree there are many benefits to drinking water their recommendations vary on how many ounces you need.They usually calculate their recommendations on a complicated equation based on the weather, your activity level, your weight, and the last four digits of your social security number (kidding)!



Some experts will tell you to drink 8 cups of water 8 times a day, others will tell you to double that on days you exercise while supplementing with a sports drink. Still others recommend dividing your weight in half and consuming that many ounces, plus an additional 24 ounces on training days. I'm sure you've read some of these recommendations along with a few others. It's confusing, isn't it? Whatever equation you choose the most important thing is to pick one that is right for you and start making water part of your healthy lifestyle.



If you were to ask me how much water I drink a day, I would probably say not enough. I do drink quite a bit of water, but I could do better. If you're already in the habit of drinking water then I give you a standing H-2-Ovation!


If you are looking for ways to add more water to your day, here are a few tips that might help you get your fill:

  • Fill a water pitcher each morning and make sure you drink the entire thing by the end of the day. The pitcher I use makes fruit infused water.
  • Find a favorite water bottle (like the KOR ONE Hydration Vessel) and refill it throughout the day
  • Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal and one during each meal (sometimes I mistake hunger for thirst, so this tip can help me reduce the amount of calories I consume)
  • Freeze half a bottle of water and then top off the rest of the bottle with cold water to make ice cold water to go
  • Drink a bottle of water every hour. Sabrina gave me this tip! I'm going to try to set my Blackberry to go off once an hour as a reminder.
  • Drink 4 gulps of water before returning every email
  • For a little variety add lemon (right, Amy?), lime, orange, or cucumber slices. Sometimes I will add a cinnamon stick or even a few mint leaves to a bottle that I refill during the day.
  • Keep tabs on how many glasses you've had by entering a tick mark on your calendar, on an index or business card, or whatever is convenient for you

Now, I'd like to hear from you. What tips do you have to make sure you're drinking enough water?

While you're doing that, I'm off to the loo.

Salute!

4 comments:

Yum Yucky 8:46 AM, August 25, 2009  

For over a week now I've made it a point to drink one bottle of water upon rising, and one right before bed (in addition to those throughout the day).

It's amazing how much it's done for my energy level (especially after work with the kids) and how I'm able to sleep. I can't explain why, but that's what its done for me.

It's time to drink up again right NOW!

Claire in Costa Rica! 4:25 PM, August 25, 2009  

Hey,

This is a great article. After having some serious illnesses I began to drink alot of water as I simply was not 'allowed' to drink anything else. At first I balked at the idea and just couldn't imagine how an earth I was going to consume 4 litres of water a day... impossible, especially with no cordial or tea or coffee to make it taste better! That was 5 years ago and I drink at least 2 gallons of water, still or carbonated, a day. I often squeeze lemon it it, or an orange or 2, and I also have an aloe vera supplement (100% natural of course) which I add, which also increases energy levels.

The main benefits are that I have amazingly clear skin, heaps of energy and I NEVER put weight on. Ok so I do eat pretty healthy, but for sure I know since I began my water regime staying in my size 6 jeans is not such a big deal and I know the water helps... here are some other pretty good reasons:

# Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week without water.

# Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.

# Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.

# Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.

# For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.

# Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.

# Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.

# Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.

# Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.

# Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.

Yes u do have to pee alot more, but just think how clean ur kidneys are, as well as the rest of ur insides!!!

Enjoy! And these are great tips. Thanks!!!

Joanna Sutter, My Favorite Things 9:20 PM, August 25, 2009  

Yum!

Isn't it crazy that water can give you energy?! I love that! It sounds like you have some great habits in place already. Keep on, keepin' on!

Cheers!

Joanna Sutter, My Favorite Things 9:27 PM, August 25, 2009  

Claire,

I am so glad you stopped by and that you are in good health.

Thank you so much for such a meaningful and thoughtful post! I should have had YOU write this article! ;-)

Cheers,
Joanna

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