Did you know that water is more crucial to your survival than food?
True statement! Water is one of those things that you just cannot live without. It makes up approximately two-thirds of your body and influences 100% of it! We know this seems obvious, but your body just cannot function without enough water.
So what happens if you don’t drink enough water? Simply said, you go from looking like a juicy grape to a shriveled-up wrinkly raisin.
Some reasons why water is important
- It plays a huge role in digestion, excretion and absorption.
- It helps remove and flush out nasty, unwanted toxins from your body.
- It helps you stay regular. Yes, we’re referring to regular “number twos.”
- It helps you sweat. Sweating plays an important role in your health, such as regulating your body temperature. It’s like a personal air conditioner.
- It increases your level of energy and supports brain function.
- It helps your skin look radiant and healthy by releasing trapped oil and dirt. Again, do you want to be the supple grape or the wrinkly raisin? A lack of water can indirectly cause you to appear older.
- It helps you practice portion control. Yes, you read that correctly. Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps you feel more full before you even begin eating.
What does lack of water do?
- It forces your body, including your heart, to work harder.
- It can cause you to become fatigued, irritable and dizzy.
- It can indirectly cause weight gain. When you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to make poor food choices.
- It can cause headaches, joint pain and muscle pain.
- It can cause you to become constipated; chronic constipation can lead to negative health conditions.
How do you know when you’re running low on water? Check your pee (pee-lease).
Okay, we know this sounds a little strange, but it’s important. Often, we barely give our urine a passing glance before it swirls out of the toilet bowl and down into the pipes. We finish, flush and forget about it! One of the easiest and biggest indicators of your level of hydration and health is your urine’s color, consistency and odor. Urine that is clear, light in color or a pale straw color is an indicator of sufficient hydration. One of the easiest and best ways to tell if you are dehydrated is if your urine is dark, orange or amber in color or has a pungent odor.
If you take certain vitamins or medications, such as B vitamins and riboflavin, you may notice your urine becomes a bright, neon color soon thereafter. Don’t be alarmed. Instead, take this into consideration when monitoring the color of your urine.
How much water is enough?
While this seems like a simple question, there’s no exact number or quantity regarding how much water you should drink daily. There are so many factors that play a role in that number that it can constantly be changing. Things to take into account for impacting your increased need for water consumption are: your size, how physically active you are, what temperature your environment is and your alcohol intake.
We have heard various suggested amounts of daily water intake or ways to figure out how much you need. One way to get a generalized idea of how much water you should be drinking daily is to divide your weight by two. This equals the approximate number of ounces you should be drinking daily. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you would want to drink around 70 ounces of water or 8 ¾ eight-ounce glasses daily.
Take care of your engine. It’s the only one you get.
Basically, if you don’t drink enough water you’re like a car running on low or no oil. If you know anything about car engines, oil is a must! Think of your body as your engine. Little to no water means damage to your engine. Unlike a car, you only get one “engine.”
Some of our favorite ways to infuse water
- Mint leaves
- Cucumber and strawberry
- Cucumber and watermelon
- Watermelon and mint
- Watermelon and a sprig of rosemary
Take Action Today
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
- Throughout the day, focus on raising the glass and consuming ample amounts of water. This will help keep you satisfied, hydrated and avoid confusing hunger with thirst.
- Drink an 8 oz. glass of water before and during every meal. This helps fill your belly a bit and combats overeating.
- Have a water bottle with the ounces measured on it within arms’ reach throughout the day so you can monitor your intake.
- Try infusing your water with fresh fruit, cucumber or mint leaves.
To learn more about real-food basics, check out the rest of our Healthy Staples!
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