Simply Add Water
Everyone always thinks that the first step in starting along the path to better health is to remove offending foods from your diet. You know what I am talking about, ditch the grain, ditch the sugar, ditch the dairy. Sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, removing offending foods from your diet is certainly necessary, however, sometimes it just seems less daunting to start by ADDING something simple. You know, get a simple win under your belt before moving on to a more daunting task. And that simple something is WATER.
Water is the most important nutrient in the body, making up about 55% to 60% of total body mass, yet it is also one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the United States. Water plays multiple key roles in the body and it is absolutely necessary to consume it on a daily basis as we are constantly losing water throughout the day as part of our normal metabolic processes. While the amount and distribution of water are regulated within the body, it cannot be stored for long periods of time. In fact, we can go about 8 weeks without food, but only a matter of days without water.
Some of the roles of this important nutrient are:
- It transports other nutrients
- Regulates body temperature
- Cushions bones and joints
- Absorbs shocks to joints and organs
- Removes waste
- Flushes toxins
Seriously, if you’re not convinced, I can keep going.
- It empowers the body’s natural healing process
- Prevents tissues from sticking together
- Helps maintain proper blood viscosity
- ETC., ETC., ETC.,
Something as simple as getting enough water can provide a noticeable change in how we feel. In fact, if the body’s water content drops by as little as 2%, we can experience symptoms of fatigue and a drop of 10% can cause significant health problems by way of digestive disfunction, cardiovascular problems, immune issues and musculoskeletal issues.
Early Signs of Dehydration
Mature Signs of Dehydration
- Heart Burn
- Joint Pain
- Back Pain
So, how much water should you be drinking? As with everything, it varies from person to person. However, a general rule of thumb is ½ your body weight in ounces plus 1.5 ounces for each ounce of diuretic you drink. So, say you are 150 pounds and generally have a 10-ounce cup of coffee in the morning and a 6-ounce glass of wine at night. That means that you should be drinking roughly 100 ounces of water a day [150 pounds/2 + ((10+6)*1.5)=99]. How does this compare with what you are currently doing?
It is also important to make sure that you are getting the proper electrolytes for absorption of water in the body. I am not talking about Gatorade here (this is actually a diuretic), just simple minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are things like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium have 4 general functions in the body.
- They control the osmosis of water between fluid compartments
- Help maintain the pH balance of the blood and body
- Carry electrical current
- Serve as co-factors for optimal activity of enzymes
A simple way to make sure you are getting electrolytes when you are hydrating is to add a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your water. You won’t even really taste it but this will help you will absorb and utilize water for proper function.
Drinking more water is something you can absolutely start right away, right now in fact. So, grab your favorite reusable water bottle and keep it nearby. You’ll be surprised the difference something so simple can make. It will also feel great to get a small win under your belt and have you eager for your next healthy challenge.