Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine. ~Slovakian Proverb
One of the single most effective (and simplest I might add) ways to begin creating a healthier lifestyle, is to increase the amount of water you drink daily and at the same time decrease the number of sodas that you drink (or eliminating them entirely would even be better)….yes, even the diet ones.
Your body loses fluids throughout the day just performing its daily functions and fluid levels are important to maintaining healthy functions. Here are just some of the many health benefits of drinking water daily:
- Drinking water daily improves concentration
- Water boosts your energy levels
- Staying well hydrated is good for your skin
- Staying well hydrated can help with pain management, by keeping your joints lubricated
- Water helps to flush toxins from your kidney, helping them to work more efficiently
- Drinking water can reduce your risk of having a heart attack
- Water helps you stay regular
You want to be sure to drink even more fluids whenever you increase your physical activity, when eating a high fiber diet, during hot weather and of course push those fluids when you’re sick. Your body is 90 percent water and needs it for digestion, healthy skin, blood circulation, temperature control and lots of other reasons. Here are some tips for getting more water in your diet;
- Try to drink one glass of water every hour during waking hours. Keep a glass by the kitchen sink and every time you walk through the kitchen, have a quick sip.
- Add fresh mint leaves, slices of strawberry, apple, lemon, or lime to a pitcher of water. Serve chilled.
- My favorite addition to water is cucumbers, cucumbers have many health benefits all their own, so peel em’, slice em’ and add them to your water, an added bonus, is you have a snack at the bottom of your class
- Drink herbal teas. Herbal teas have many healing properties and come in a seeming endless list of flavors; green tea, yerba matte, chai, chamomile, mint, raspberry leaf, cinnamon/apple, just to name a few. In the summer time you can serve them over ice. In winter, drink them hot.
- A little juice during the day is Ok as long as it’s all natural, NO sugar added, 100% juice. But only in small amounts, even 100% juice is considered a ‘sugary ’drink and while it is naturally occurring fruit juice, it still adds calories and sometimes a lot of calories. So keep your juice consumption to a minimum.
Probably the best thing you can do is to create habits that encourage water consumption.
- Every time you reach for a soda, grab a glass of water instead
- Sip a glass of water with each meal
- Start everyday with a glass of room temperature water with at least ½ a fresh lemon squeezed in it. The warm lemon water has many health benefits besides helping to rehydrated you after 8 hours of sleeping.
You should limit drinks containing sugar, caffeine and alcohol, they have a tendency to de-hydrate the body. Plus, any type of Soda Pop or cola drink should be eliminated completely. Americans consume so much of the sugary, fizzy stuff that if you eliminated it from your diet (and do nothing else!) you can lose on average 13 lbs in a year, just by giving up sodas. Think about that! They have absolutely no nutritional value…at all. And even if you are drinking the sugar-free ones, they still don’t have any real food value, they still have caffeine and carbonation and of course there is the controversy over the use of artificial sweeteners. So why bother.
So how much water do we really need, well the old school way of thinking was 8 glasses a day, right. But there is a more modern and individualized approach, take your weight, say 150 lbs, drop the lbs and change it to oz’s…150 oz’s and cut that in half, 75 oz…So 75oz a day of fluid intake, (doesn’t count sodas or caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverage), that does count high fluid foods such as watermelons which are 90% water, cantaloupes, tomatoes, grapes and leafy greens. So you don’t have to drink more than a 2 liter bottle of water a day if you also these foods in your everyday diet.
Try adding more fresh cool water, and let me know how you feel.