Water is one of the most pure, most essential nutrients on the face of the earth. We drink it, wash with it, swim in it and spend nine months developing in it. Every living thing consists of water: plants, animals and humans; each one of us is made up of approximately 70% water.
Water is an important and precious commodity. It’s so important that only 1% of the earth’s water is drinkable.
This clear, wonderful fluid is so effective that it can fulfill many tasks. It hydrates and replenishes lost nutrients; it carries waste from the body, balances body temperature, and keeps the skin elastic. Not only does it increase mental and physical alertness, but it can also provide a person with increased energy and help prevent illness by flushing toxins out of the system. That cool, clear substance is also critical to our survival; we can go for weeks without food but only days without water.
For weight management, water is essential. Documented in the article, Weight Control Begins with Hydration by Linda McDonald, RD, water can decrease a person’s appetite because thirst is usually mistaken for hunger. Those late night stomach rumblings can be easily quelled by indulging in a glass of H2O.
Water can help reduce fat deposits and eradicate excess fluids and waste, which, in some cases, people believe the opposite. The assumption is that too much ingestion of this pure liquid leads to water retention. This is a fallacy.
Linda indicates that when the body is deprived of water, it will hold on to it because it perceives the body is in danger of dehydration, hence the swollen hands, legs, and feet. If water is consumed properly, it is able to do its job effectively.
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, has studied the effects of dehydration and the miracles of water consumption for over 20 years. His studies suggest that many degenerative diseases and medical maladies are the result of dehydration. He also points out that pain, not a dry mouth, is a strong indicator of being thirsty.
He maintains that a well-hydrated body can help cure, prevent and control a number of medical conditions, such as: diabetes, asthma, angina, migraines, arthritis, high blood pressure, heartburn, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and even morning sickness.
How can you tell if you are dehydrated? According to the article, Your Body Feels Great When You Hydrate by Urologist, Dr. Lawrence Ross, your urine will be dark yellow if you aren’t getting enough water.
How much is enough? The rule of thumb is to drink one-half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. If you are more active, drink two-thirds ounce of water per pound of body weight.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages do not count; they can actually act as a diuretic and dehydrate the body. Sugary juices are also not recommended for hydration as they may lead to kidney stones.
Certain types of food can help top up your daily water requirements, however, stick to those foods closest to nature. That is, stick to fruits and vegetables; they have the most water content of all foods. Things like bread, for instance, or any other processed type food will not provide you with adequate water intake.
Okay, so you’re now convinced that keeping your fluid levels up is important for body, mind and soul, but how do you make it a habit? According to Marianne Woods Cirone in her article, Benefits of Drinking Water and Health Information on the Importance of Drinking Water, once you wake up in the morning, drink one to two cups of water or herbal tea. “These first glasses are so crucial because you are reversing any mild dehydration that may have occurred overnight, especially if you cut off your water consumption a couple of hours before bedtime in order to reduce nighttime trips to the bathroom.”
But, wait. What if the thought of drinking water bores you to tears?
Try these tips to spice it up: add a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to your glass; fill a large jug with water and several ice cubes or use a frosty mug—when that cool, crisp water hits your throat, there’s nothing like it.
Thirsty? Thought so.