Since we are composed of almost two-thirds water, drinking enough of it is essential to keeping our bodies functioning properly and feeling our best.
Here are some important roles that water plays in our bodies:
- It helps regulate body temperature.
- It helps to moisten tissues in your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- It helps protect body organs and tissues.
- It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
- It lubricates joints.
- It helps prevent constipation.
- It aids in digestion.
- It helps you absorb important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food.
- It assists the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products.
- It helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body.
- It aids in cognitive function (our brains are made up of 70 to 80 percent water).
- It helps improve mood.
- It helps maximize physical performance.
- It helps boost your energy level.
- It helps fight off illnesses like kidney stones, asthma, UTIs, and hypertension.
- It helps with weight loss by making you feel more full and increasing your metabolism.
- It helps your skin look healthy and bright and may promote collagen production.
There is no question that drinking water is crucial to our health, and we all know we should be drinking at least eight 250ml glasses of water per day. Still, only 57 percent of adults drink more than four cups of water a day.
Are you drinking enough water? These are signs that you may not be:
- Your energy dips and you feel fatigued, especially in the afternoon.
- You are urinating less, and the color of your urine is dark.
- You have a headache.
- Your mouth and lips are dry.
- Your skin is dry.
- You are constipated.
- You experience digestive problems (heartburn and indigestion).
- You have muscle cramps and spasms.
- You have a lack of sweat.
- You feel hungry, even after you just ate (thirst and hunger cues come from the same part of the brain).
- You have water retention (bloat).
It may sound crazy, but to rid yourself of that bothersome bloat (water retention), you have to drink more water. Your body will hold onto excess water if you don’t give it what it needs. Plus, if you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism can dip seriously. And let’s not forget what dehydration does to your skin. Hydrating properly with water helps to naturally flush your system of excess water, toxins, and sodium that you may be retaining. In addition, drinking more water helps you feel fuller and addresses the false hunger that dehydration can cause so you end up eating and snacking less.
Start your day by taking a shower on the inside. Every night leave a 250ml glass of water on your bedside table, and drink it upon waking. This will help flush out impurities, improving circulation and blood flow right from the get-go. This will also help get your digestive tract moving, making it easier to eliminate.
Before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, drink a cup of water. Drinking water before, during, and after a meal helps your body break down food more effectively so you get the most from your meals.
Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water – at that point you are already dehydrated. Drinking at least 250ml of water when you first wake up, before and after meals, and then sipping water throughout the day should be enough to get you to that number.
Drinking other fluids, like coffee and tea, does not take the place of water. Water is water and it is irreplaceable in the body for many reasons. Not only do beverages made with water not count as water, but for every cup of coffee/tea or other caffeinated drink you take in, you have to replace it with a cup and a half of water due to caffeine’s dehydrating effect.
Better yet, replace that bloat-inducing, dehydrating cup of java with its decaffeinated, antioxidant-rich cousin, green tea, and you’ll not only flatten that belly but burn some serious fat as well! Aim for three cups a day.
Consume a cup of alkaline-rich and seriously hydrating veggie broth with meals or as a snack. You’ll flood your body with de-bloating nutrients that flush out excess water and fill you up at the same time–a win-win situation! Try Dr.Coy’s Organic Vegetable Bouillon – it has the highest concentration of vegetables of all other stock powders on the market, it doesn’t contain any additives whatsoever and is only couple of calories per cup.
Keep on track with an app. Instead of trying to remember to drink water, use a water-tracking app, and set reminders throughout the day. It’s also really fun to see your water level increase as you add more to your daily water log.
We do get some fluid intake from food, primarily fresh fruits and vegetables. But even with a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables, food only counts for about 20 percent of your total fluid intake.
So Bottoms Up!