Hydration

Importance

When a plant doesn't get enough water it shrivels up.  When you don't consume enough water the same happens to your cells. 

Well a dramatic but eye-opening metaphor.  Water is crucial to every tissue and reaction that takes place in our bodies.  It is a substrate in metabolic reactions, a structural component of cells, essential for digestion and blood circulation, helps maintain body temperature, and the list goes on...  It may even raise energy levels and boost the immune system.  Thirst cues help to regulate our water intake, but ensuring that we ingest enough water throughout the day is very important.  

The Recommendations

As you may already know, drinking 8 glasses of non-caffeinated water (or approximately 2 liters) per day will certainly meet your water requirements.  But getting those liters in can be difficult.  Thirst cues are frequently mistaken for hunger cues.  Next time you're feeling a little bit hungry and can't figure out why... try having a glass of water and waiting 15 minutes.  Still hungry?  Then it was probably a hunger cue.  

It's also common to overlook dehydration as the root of the problem.  A 2% drop in body water can lead to fuzzy thinking, and dehydration is a top cause for daytime fatigue.  In addition, 70% of headaches can be attributed to dehydration.  Remember this the next time you're feeling a little downtrodden during the day, grab two glasses of water (16 ounces total), and see how you're feeling about twenty minutes later.  I'll bet you that more often than not you'll be feeling better.

Some Tips to Drinking More Water

  1. Buy a reusable water bottle.  Carrying water around with you all day will help remind you to continue taking sips throughout the day.
  2. Dress your water up.  Throw in some frozen berries or a slice of lemon for flavor.  All the benefits of fresh water with something to jazz it up.  You can also try using nice glassware or fun straws!
  3. Eat your water.  Remember that part of your water intake can come from raw fruits and vegetables as well.  How delicious does watermelon, sliced fresh peppers or grapes sound right now?
  4. Take advantage of tea.  Enjoying a nice cup of tea provides water as well as antioxidants.  Just remember that the number one rule of tea drinking is to boil the water and steep the tea fresh.  Throw a large batch in the fridge to cool during the summer.
  5. Alternate when the caffeine craving takes hold.  Working a long day or feeling the need for a caffeine boost?  Grab coffee and water and alternate your sips.  You'll enjoy the coffee for longer and get more water into your system.