If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “I don’t like water!”…I wouldn’t have any more money than I do today. In truth, I haven’t heard it from too many people but I have heard it before and I was so confused! How can anyone NOT like water? The human body is about 70% water, yet 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. Why is that? It turns out, the majority of us are not drinking enough water throughout the day. The shocking part is that almost every organ in our body relies on water to function. If we are not properly hydrated, our bodies cannot function at the optimal level. I know those seems elementary to some of you, but it is a constant battle to get some people to drink water. Even with the facts laid out in front of them, they will not be moved.
Why is water so important? If you are not properly hydrated your body will start pulling the water from other places like organs and blood. This increases the thickness of the blood and can increase your risk of blood clots. This can also lead to hypertension, heart disease and high cholesterol. The thicker the blood, the more difficult it is to pump through the arteries thus making your heart work harder. Dehydration can also promote the increase of body fat. For those of us exercise enthusiasts, that defeats the purpose of being in the gym 3-5 hours per week! Water can be used to decipher if you are actually hungry. Before you grab that next snack, grab a glass of water. You may just be dehydrated.
We have the facts, now what do we do with them? It is pretty simple, drink water. You know it is essential to life, you know your body functions better while hydrated and I promise you will feel better and have more energy during the day if you are adequately hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you to work or when you are out running errands. Make sure you have clean drinking water available at your house. There are countless filtration systems that are reasonably priced if you are not willing to purchase bottled water or cannot afford it.
How much water is enough water? According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Keep in mind, you intake water from certain foods and other beverages as well. So the old rule of 8 – 8 ounce glasses per day while not exact will probably suffice. I would suggest that be the minimum. If you participate in vigorous exercise, then you will need to consume more water since you are losing more water than the average person who does not exercise.
I love a challenge! Create one for yourself with water intake. Start with one day and make it a goal to drink at least 64 ounces of water (8- 8 ounce classes). Then increase it to a week, then a month. Eventually, it will become a habit! A good habit at that 🙂 Cheers!