Are You Drinking Enough Water - Quick Healthy Tips
In the last few months, we’ve covered diet vs exercise, the importance of sleep, frequency at which we should eat, etc. but now is the time to talk about the most important micro-habit of all—water! Water is one of the most undervalued habits and yet aside from a healthy diet, it is the most important habit of them all as it has SO many benefits.
Did you know that your body requires a minimum of 64 ounces of water to ensure its’ five major organs are functioning on all cylinders? Yet, “experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2013 that 43 percent of adults drink less than four cups of it per day. This figure includes 7 percent of American adults who drink no water at all.” Yikes!
I think all too often we fall into the trap of not only drinking our calories but ignoring the negative side effects that dehydration can have on our body. How many of you are guilty of saying, “I think my body needs more caffeine, that’s why I’m tired (or have a headache),” versus thinking that more than likely you are just dehydrated? I know I used to be that way!
Aside from just helping your organs there are so many other reasons why we should drink water. Here are just a few from Dr. A’s Habits of Health book:
• It’s calorie free, but helps you feel full and satisfied. • It keeps you from overeating. • It facilitates the removal of toxins, such as pesticides and preservatives from your cells. • It prevents dehydration as your body eliminates excess salt and water from a diet full of too much processed food. • It minimizes or eliminates fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, and unclear thinking. • It speeds up metabolism. • It helps your liver convert fat to energy. • It compensates for the loss of glycogen stores as you lose weight. • Clearer skin. • Helps with constipation
A study by Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD. titled,“Hunger and Thirst: Issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking,” shows that when we feel hungry some of the time our bodies are actually signaling for water. So next time you feel hungry, grab a big glass of water and drink the whole thing. Wait 15 minutes or so then ask yourself if you’re still hungry. According to Dr. Wayne Anderson, “30% of the time, what we think is hunger is something else entirely.” Sometimes that hunger is just boredom—I think we’re all experiencing that now with the Shelter in Place order.
Below are some healthy hydration options. If it helps, buy a water bottle that will inspire you to drink more water. Sometimes something new and colorful will do the trick or you can carry a full gallon jug like the one we bought our daughter for her birthday—these are great if you need a visual to stay on track!
HEALTHY HYDRATION • Purified water • Bottled water • Reverse Osmosis water • Unsweetened tea • Infused water (calorie free)
UNHEALTHY HYDRATION • Fruit juices • Sodas • Almond, coconut milks • Diet soda • Energy drinks • Sports drinks • Alcohol These next few weeks I challenge you to step up your water game and tell me if you notice a difference in either a decreased appetite or your energy levels. Start small by just replacing a regular coffee or soda fix with a glass of water instead. Or drink a glass of water every time you walk into the kitchen for the snack you think you need. I promise that your whole body will thank you!
Happy hydration! 😊
Written by Cindy Kidd - Certified Health Coach