Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drink More Water

Do you get enough water each day? Before you say yes, record your beverage intake for the next few days, or even over the weekend. You may be surprised. It's not uncommon to have coffee in the mornings, soft drinks or tea mid-day, and more soft drinks or wine at night. There are so many drink choices out there, the next thing you know, you can actually go days without having much water or maybe not any at all. Okay, I know what you're thinking. Food contains water, and all beverages contain some water, so your body is being replenished, but what I'm talking about is pure, plain, filtered, clean, unadulterated water. Not anything special in a bottle, not the questionable stuff we get from the tap, not even the flavored type with stuff added to spizz it up. What if we're just assuming that because our bodies keep functioning we're getting enough water, and besides, with all the beverages to choose from, who wants plain water? Are we consistently asking our bodies to compensate and function with less water than they actually need?

It's really not possible to set a standard for every person in terms of daily water intake. You have to assess your water intake and do some experimenting. You will see lots of recommendations out there, but the truth is, it varies from person to person and even from day to day. Your environment, sweating, activity level, food intake and body size are just a few of the factors that can impact how much water your body needs. Even sedentary people may need an average of 1.5 to 2.5 quarts of water a day to replace general losses. In addition, you can't always base it on thirst. Sometimes by the time you feel thirsty or your mouth is dry you are already dehydrated, at least to a degree.

There are multiple reasons for making sure your body has adequate water every day.

Four or five years ago when my husband stopped drinking regular soft drinks, he lost 8 pounds almost immediately. He didn't drink them excessively, but he drank them daily and rarely drank water. Now he drinks about a gallon of water a day on a consistent basis and has a periodic diet soft drink, usually when we're eating Mexican food, a favorite treat for us!

Water can also help with excessive dry, rough, skin. For sure there are some specific dry skin conditions, but have you ever noticed how you can put on lotion over and over and your skin seems to absorb it but remain dry? Water will help your skin from the inside out.

A very powerful benefit of having enough water in your system is your ability to perform during exercise. Your performance can be impaired by many factors, such as inadequate rest, overtraining, lack of focus, and inadequate hydration. I can tell by the time I finish my warm-up whether or not I am hydrated adequately. Your body requires water for all of it's essential functions, so pushing it in the gym while dehydrated is not going to support the performance you want for fat loss or muscle building. (The replenishment of electrolytes, etc. during and after strenuous or lengthy exercise marked by copious sweat loss must be considered but that's a topic for another day).

Have you ever been rummaging around in the pantry or refridgerator looking for something to eat? You're not exactly hungry, and you don't really know what you want. Maybe you're just thirsty. Drink a tall glass of water and see what happens.

What if instead of drinking all sorts of fluids and trying to remember to drink water, we turned the process around and chose water for our primary beverage? Then we could supplement with something like green tea for flavor. On top of that, we could have our favorite diet soda, a specialty coffee, a relaxing glass of wine as a treat. Imagine how good those things would taste then?

When I decided to make water my primary drink, I had to develop a taste for it. I found that I liked the taste of filtered water. I'm still not crazy about water in restaurants, so I will usually add lemon or lime there. Sometimes I would add artificial sweetener too, but weaned myself of that and now I drink it totally plain. I also discovered that I prefer room temperature water over ice water. Eventually I bought a water bottle and started carrying it around with me, sipping throughout the day. It didn't take long to become a habit I really enjoy.

My new SIGG water bottle from Target. My other water bottle is BPA-free plastic.

How much water do you drink? What were your tricks for getting more water in your daily intake if you don't particularly care for water? I'd love to hear about it.

I a SIGG water bottle in my Amazon store. Please see my disclosure.

1 comment:

Roundballnz said...

Best trick for drinking water is to keep a bottle in hands reach at all times & sip all day.

you will be surprised how easy it is to keep well hydrated that way.

I only drink water, tea, milk & zero coke ( no its not a daily fix)