How often do you feel tired, sluggish, achy or mentally slow? Did you know that losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can significantly impair your physical performance, impair your mood, cause impairment in memory and brain function? Water makes up approximately 60% of our body and about 90% of our blood. It is essential that we maintain proper hydration in order for our bodies to function well. The standard recommendation is to drink at least ½ your weight in water. So 150lb person would need to drink 75oz of water. Some of you may require more water; this is dependent on whether you live in a hot climate, if you are physically active, pregnant or nursing, running a fever or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. The body depends on water to help regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, maintain proper digestion, boost exercise performance, transports minerals and nutrients throughout the body as well as flush out toxins and body waste.
We have all experienced the effects of dehydration: headaches, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness and constipation. Making it a daily habit to drink water throughout the day will help keep you energized, maintain focus and keep your body functioning properly. Our digestive tract requires water in order to properly digest food and keep our system running smoothly. Dehydration can lead to constipation and kidney stones. The body’s ability to rid toxins and body waste is vitally important. Chronic constipation can lead to an imbalance of the intestinal flora causing leaky gut and food sensitivities. It can have a structural and physical effect on the gut lining due to hard large stools and can possibly reabsorb toxins such as excess hormones that otherwise would be excreted in the stool. The kidneys need water to help remove waste from your blood in the form of urine. Proper hydration keeps your blood vessels open so the blood can freely travel to your kidneys and deliver essential nutrients. Drinking water helps to prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections by inhibiting the formation of crystal stones and flushing out infection causing bacteria through the urine.
Here are a couple of tips to encourage you to drink more water:
· Keep a water bottle with you so that you can refill it throughout the day
· Set an alarm to go off hourly to remind you to drink water
· Replace other drinks with water
· Drink 8 oz of water upon rising in the morning to energize your body
· Eat more foods high in water: lettuce, celery, zucchini. watermelon, cantaloupe and cabbage
· Drink a glass of water before each meal
· Set a goal, how much are you going to drink? When, how often and where?
How much water do you need in order to stay properly hydrated? Drink at least half your body weight in water, more during the hot summer months and when physically active. Monitor your hydration though bathroom frequency and the color of your urine – optimal is light yellow and you should be emptying your bladder 5-8 times per day. Other key benefits from drinking water and staying well hydrated: boosts skin health, weight loss (by drinking water before meals), provides moisture for airways and nasal passages helping to ease allergens and boost exercise performance.
Goal for the week: Start off with 8oz of water upon rising