Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Something I always hear from my Dad and something many of you may also often hear. Water makes up about 60% of the average adult's body and is important for various functions and health factors. While most of you already know this, you, and me, brush off drinking water like it is no big deal! Personally, I struggle with getting my water intake because I just don't think of it or I'd rather be drinking something tastier, like coffee. While coffee makes me smile, it probably isn't a great benefit to my health like water. Every person needs water on a daily basis, some more than others. Even though I know I need it, I find myself putting it off-- something that needs to stop. For those of you who say that water is one of the less important things in life, this will make you think again. First let's look at the facts about water and yourself.
According to The Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake of water for men is 13 cups, and for women 9 cups. This doesn't sound too bad, right? Most of the time you can get your adequate intake from your normal beverage and food consumption. However, it is important to remember to keep hydrating throughout the day in to stay on top of this. So what are the benefits to drinking water? Water helps with all the following and more: keeping your body temperature in control, protecting your spinal cord, tissues and joints, and assisting with digestion and the removal of waste. When you don't drink more water than your body is putting out, you can become dehydrated, which makes your body have a harder time functioning due to the lack of water. An easy identifier of dehydration is the color of your urine... let's just say it shouldn't be looking that yellow.
Drinking water also has other benefits than just making a well-oiled machine for your body to function. Water also can help with the following:
- Making you feel more full, leading to less calorie consumption.
- Giving your muscles more water, leading to more energy.
- Reducing the risk of pimples by flushing out toxins.
- Helping nails become stronger.
- Helping prevent hair loss.
- Helping staying focused and alert.
- Preventing muscles and joints from becoming stiff and achy.
With all the great benefits and need for water to stay alive, it is clear you need to keep track of just how much you are getting. Whether you don't drink enough because you simply forget to, don't want to because there is no taste, or it makes you always have to go the bathroom, try to change your habits! My best advice is to try to drink one glass in the morning before, or with your breakfast. Not only will you be kicking off the day by hydrating, but it will be a reminder to continue to do so throughout the day. If you need to keep a reminder on your phone to stay hydrated, it may be beneficial. Another way to get your fluids in is try adding some fruit to your water. Fruit infused water is a great way to add some flavor, but no extra calories or junk for your body. Also, spice it up a bit with seltzer or sparkling water if you want that soda feel. My go-to is seltzer water in a unique glass or water bottle with a straw -- it makes drinking water a little more festive and fun.
Another great way to stay hydrated is to set goals. If you drink this much water you can do this, or get that. Make a reward system and you will eventually find yourself wanting to drink water, and not making yourself do it. It's always hard at first to start this habit because you are not used to drinking so much. Eventually, your body will adjust and you won't need to make so many bathroom breaks in a short period of time and you won't find yourself forcing that water down. It might sound crazy, but after a while of drinking so much water on a daily basis, just one day without your usually intake you will find your body craving it. Water may not taste like anything, but it sure helps with a lot. It actually could be considered a cure all. A secret weapon for sure.