Drinking a healthy amount of water is vital to your health. You can gain tremendous benefits just by incorporating it into your daily routine. But why and how much is needed to get the job done? Before you can appreciate the benefits of water, let’s review the role of water in body.
Role of water in your body
Water is the primary component of all bodily fluids – blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears, and sweat. Water is involved in almost every bodily function, including:
- Transporting nutrients, oxygen, and electrolytes into cells
- Aiding in the elimination of waste (daily detoxification)
- Helping with metabolism
- Regulating body temperature
- Protecting and moisturizing our joints
Benefits of drinking water
So we know what water does in your body, but how does this help you?
- Lose weight: flushes out the by-products of fat breakdown and works to reduce hunger
- Relieve your headaches: when you’re dehydrated, headaches and back pains are the first symptoms
- Radiant skin: increases elasticity
- High productivity at work: your brain is made up of water. Drink it and you will prosper
- Harder and longer exercise: water helps regulate your body temperature, fuels your muscles and allows you to go harder for longer
- Stay regular: helps move fiber through your digestive tract
- Less sick days: water works to strength your immune and flush out toxins and pathogens
- Relives fatigue: pumping toxins out of the body is the role of water. Not enough water in your diet means your heart, liver, and cells have to do all the work, in turn making you exhausted
Are you dehydrated?
The sneaky thing about dehydration is that by the time you’re feeling thirsty you’ve already reached a level of dehydration. Without enough water, we basically dry ourselves out.
Average recommendation for adults is 2 liters per day. The amount of water we need is based on a couple of factors – our size, activity level, climate, and our diet (the more foods we eat that are higher in water, the less we’ll need to drink).
We lose water daily through our skin, urine, bowels, and lungs (as water vapor). About half of our water losses can be replaced with the water content in our food. The remaining half requires specific fluid intake, primarily from drinking good water.
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, colas, or alcoholic beverages do not count as the same volume of water because they will deplete existing water from your body to process these fluids (aka diuretic).
How the heck am I going to drink all that water?
Many of us have extremely busy lifestyles. Unfortunately this usually means that remembering to drink enough water throughout the day is usually lost. Try these easy steps to begin to incorporate water into your daily routine without having to bend over backwards:
- Make drinking the first thing you do when you wake up
- While you’re getting ready for work/school (before breakfast!)
- 30 minutes before your morning snack, lunch, and dinner
- On your way home from your day: pack a water bottle with you in the car
- 1-2 hours after dinner when you’re starting to get “hungry” for something snacky
- Before bed
These are just the many ways you can begin to incorporate water into your life. If you make a plan it will be much easier to stick to. Before you know it it’ll be routine!