Couple of weeks ago I decided to take part in a one week water challenge. I have never had problems drinking enough water, but I thought that it would actually be fun to track for one week my water intake. We had a Facebook closed group where people posted their daily progress, express any concerns, post any question, etc. This is when I realized that far more people then I though actually have a hard time drinking enough water.
Staying hydrated is extremely essential to a healthy and properly functioning body! I think that each one of us knows that it is important to stay hydrated, but how many of us actually know why? You might be surprised by the benefits water has for our body and health. According to Authority Nutrition, there are 7 main reasons for staying hydrated:
- maximizes your physical performance
- effects your brain functions and energy levels
- prevents and treats headaches
- relives constipation
- treats kidney stones
- prevents hangovers
- can help with weight loss
In addition to the above listed benefits of staying hydrated, according to Natural Society there are a few more:
- combat fatigue
- reduce high blood pressure
- halt allergies and asthma
- reduce acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and premature aging of the skin
- stop high cholesterol
- eliminate digestive disorders
- flush out unwanted bacteria from the bladder and kidneys
- speed up joint and cartilage repair
- stop gaining unwanted weight
- slow the aging process
I am sure that there are many more reasons why we should stay hydrated, but the bottom line is that our body consists of about 60% water, and in order for our body, cells and organs to be able to perform all their functions properly, we need to stay hydrated. When I say hydrated, I mean by drinking clean and still water. It is very important to understand that tea, coffee, sodas and sweet drinks are not substitute for water.
One thing to keep in mind is that overnight your body dehydrates, so it is extremely important to drink some water when you get up. I usually start my day with about 250ml warm water with ginger and juice from half a lemon. I also make sure that I always have water around me during the day in order to be reminded that I need to drink.
There are people that have a hard time drinking only still water. If you are one of these people, then try adding some ginger, or slices of lemon or lime, or some berries, or some mint leaves…..this gives a nice flavour without any added sugar. Usually during the colder months, I don’t feel like drinking too much water, so I make me a few times a day tea from freshly cut ginger and juice from half a lemon.
I have noticed (and have heard it from a lot of my friends) that if I don’t drink enough water, I will get a headache. But what does enough mean? There are many different opinions on exactly how much water we should drink a day, but the experts usually recommend to drink 2 litres a day. It might seem like a lot, but I think that it is all a matter of practice (just like with anything else). Here a few suggestions on how you can make this a habit:
- put a small bottle of water next to your bed, so you are reminded first thing in the morning to drink some water
- in the beginning set yourself a reminder, for example every 15 min or 30min and have a few sips, until it actually becomes a habit
- make sure that you always have water at your desk – some companies offer a 2 litre bottles. Why not put one of this on your desk (so that you can see it!) and drink it throughout the day
- when you go in a meeting, make sure that you always take a small bottle along so you can stay hydrated during your meeting
- when you workout make sure that you always have water with you
- for some of you an accountability partner might work
If you are not used to drinking a lot of water, make sure that you start with small steps – don’t try to drink 2 litres on day one! Just like with any other change, be realistic and set smaller goals for yourself in order to achieve the main goal……..the first step is to get started!
Photo by © arttim / Fotolia.com