You don’t need to make a trip to the bank for this investment, but it can pay big dividends when it comes to keeping you healthy. Why is water so important? It’s like the motor oil that keeps our cars running smoothly and extends the life of our vehicles. Without it, the engine would seize, and we’d be stranded, facing an expensive trip to the mechanic. However, with an ounce of prevention (i.e. our investment) we could save ourselves time, frustration, and money. Water is to your body what motor oil is to your car. Unlike food, we cannot survive long without water. It’s required to keep our heart pumping, blood circulating, and digestion humming. Every cell, organ, and tissue in the body needs water to function properly. In fact, the body is approximately 60% water, even more for newborns. Unfortunately, by the time we feel thirsty or cotton-mouthed, we’re already in a state of dehydration, so it’s important to raise your glass of water and drink up every day, throughout the day.
What’s the pay-off from drinking more water?
- Weight loss: Water is a great way to tame your appetite. Get in the habit of drinking a glass of water when hunger strikes. The human body doesn’t always differentiate between hunger and thirst accurately. Sometimes we think we’re hungry, but really, we just need some good old H2O. You may find your hunger pangs subside without eating bite. If not, the water will take up some space in your belly, acting as a natural appetite suppressant that helps you to feel full with less food. Dehydration also causes an excessive release of stress hormones, like cortisol, which can cause food cravings and contribute to weight gain.
- Brighter, younger looking skin: Skin is the largest organ in the body. Adequate water intake helps the skin build new cells which can improve the color and tone of your skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. It’s a great anti-aging remedy to keep your skin looking its best.
- Relieve joint pain: Water helps to keep the cartilage in your joints soft and hydrated. In fact, the common treatment of taking Glucosamine, a supplement often used to help with joint pain, actually helps cartilage absorb more water.
- Natural way to rid toxins: Drinking more water can be a natural “detox.” Waste and bacteria are flushed out from our bodies through urine and sweat. In addition, fiber also needs water to help move food throughout the intestine which promotes a healthy gut system.
- Improved energy: Underhydration can leave you feeling fatigued. Water is needed to convert the nutrients we get from food into energy, so it’s important to fuel your metabolism by staying hydrated. Muscles tissue is about 75% water, so staying hydrated can also leave you feeling stronger.
- Fewer headaches: One of the most common symptoms of dehydration are headaches. Drink more water if you notice you get headaches often. Drinking water when you have a headache may also help get rid of it quicker.
- Better mood: Good water intake can help reduce brain fog and keep you feeling good, which helps boost your mood. Water also acts as a suspension system for the brain that supports all the incredible functions it needs to do.
How much is enough? It’s simple! Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2. That equals how many ounces you should drink every day. Remember there are 8 ounces in 1 cup. If this seems like more than you can do, gradually increase your intake until you make your goal amount. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider if you have health issues or prescriptions that may affect your hydration needs.
There is such thing as overhydration. It’s best to sip throughout the day instead of guzzling-a-gallon at one time. Know how much you should drink and space your intake throughout the day.
Invest in a water bottle and keep it with you during the day. Try these tips if you have a hard time reaching your water intake goal:
- Infuse water with fruit and/or herbs
- Common fruits to infuse water with include melons, berries, and citrus fruits.
- Add basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, or mint for additional flavor.
- Example combinations include strawberry and mint, orange and basil, or lemon and rosemary.
- Sip on herbal tea (hot or cold)
- Drop a few bags of herbal tea (i.e. hibiscus, ginger, chamomile, or mint) into a pitcher of water with some fruit as desired; let it steep in the refrigerator overnight and sip on throughout the day.
- Try the old-fashioned way and steep herbal tea bags in hot water.
- Try a no-sugar-added sparkling water option
- Juice a lemon, orange, or lime to give your sparkling beverage some sweet flavor.
Source: Idaho Nutrition Associates in Boise, Idaho
Idaho Nutrition Associates is located in Boise, Idaho and serves the community’s nutrition and health needs. Their Registered Dietitians provide individualized nutrition counseling and coaching focused preventing and better managing health concerns through nutrition and lifestyle. They also provide worksite wellness programs, cooking classes, nutrition-based genetic testing, and food sensitivity testing. Idaho Nutrition Associates strives to promote wellness and prevent the onset of disease. What we eat and drink creates the foundation on which our health is built; invest in your foundation and meet with a Registered Dietitian. Courtesy of