Your Body is a complex and needy piece of equipment and requires much on physical, spiritual and emotional levels to function optimally. Whilst physically we often discuss food and exercise, water (other than the constant mantra to hydrate) seems to take a back seat when discussing nutrition. Water is not a food but it is one of the most important ingredients for good health and good nutrition. Drinking water is as, if not more, important as brushing your teeth and needs to be as habitual. I always recommend drinking water throughout the day rather than reaching for the plethora of flavored, carbonated, caffeinated drinks, juices and milk that are so readily available.
Most health professionals agree that most adults should be drinking drink somewhere around eight glasses of clean water every day. Others recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces meaning, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water each day.
When you feel thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated, making it even more important to have water with you at all times, regardless of season or physical activity. Often, feelings of thirst are often felt as feelings of hunger. This can be especially important when changing eating and nutrition habits. I always tell my clients to drink a glass of water and revisit their hunger a few minutes later. Many times it has dissipated. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits will also help quench much of your thirst due to their high water content.
It is important to enjoy water throughout the day rather than just chugging it all down at once. As with everything, the poison is in the dose and even water can be harmful in excessive amounts. Water intoxication can be a concern, especially for athletes (made worse when taking ibuprofen based products) and infants. As with all things nutrition, be mindful and avoid excess.
Drinking water has many benefits beyond just quenching thirst.
1. Kidney Function
Not enough water means the kidneys need to transfer some of their detoxification workload onto your poor liver. The liver then becomes overworked by removing a larger majority of the toxic load from the body. Your liver is one of your hardest working organs, wearing many hats besides detoxification but when overwhelmed, many of these become secondary, especially those functions involving fat metabolism.
2. Fat Metabolism
Water may be one of the most effective fat loss tools in your weight loss arsenal. Besides naturally suppressing the appetite, water plays a pivotal role in mobilizing stored fat. Decreasing water intake may cause fat deposits to increase whilst increases in water consumption can help to metabolize fat stores quicker and more effectively
Thanks to both detoxification and cell hydration, water supports supple, less inflamed and achy joints and healthy glowing skin.
Water is also responsible in part for endocrine and hormonal balance and your energy levels. Drink up!
Under hydration is a common cause of the most common resistance I encounter when asking my clients to drink more water – ‘But I’m not thirsty!” When your body is adequately hydrated, natural thirst returns along with balance, health and lack of fluid retention.
The next question I am often asked is whether you should be drinking water from a tap, a bottle or a filter.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks that come with the wonders of modern living and the chemical filtration process that our tap water is subjected to before being allowed to flow out our taps.
Tap water also contains many waste and by-products that cannot be removed including agricultural products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Bottled water comes with its own concerns. It is often just barely filtered tap water although some sourced waters come from springs. Most bottles contain BPA, a component of plastic that is a known endocrine disruptor and in and of themselves are a huge environmental hazard and source of pollution. If you are a conscientious avid recycler (and we should all aim to recycle as much as possible), I would still avoid bottled water due to its potential impact on your hormone balance. This includes the large water pitchers available in grocery stores or through a contract or replacement program.
This leaves my personal choice of filtered water. This can be installed onto your water system, on a tap directly or through a pitcher.
When shopping for a filtration system that suits your needs and budget, you’ll want to make sure it works! The result should always be good tasting, softened water, a BPA free pitcher and affordable refills for the filters.
If you are new to drinking more water, you can start slowly. Add a glass or 2 in the morning when you wake up. Once accustomed to this new routine, add a little more in through the day. Infusing your water with some slices of citrus or cucumber, a few berries or some mint will delicately flavor the water and make for a tasty alternative to and easier transition from highly palatable, over-sweetened drinks.Your body and your health will be most appreciative and as start feeling the positive impact or true hydration.