Growing up if I ever had an ailment I would go to my mom and her response would be, without fail, “drink some water.” Whether it be a headache, stomach ache, or even boredom, water was always the saving grace. Still to this day, my body tells me immediately when I haven’t had enough water. I am prone to headaches and since changing my lifestyle habits, my headaches are nearly non-existent. My goal is to drink 3-liters of water every day, in addition to juice, occasional coconut water, or herbal tea. I notice the benefits of staying hydrated in my skin, energy levels, sleep, and recovery from exercise.
We depend on water in order to survive. We are taught in elementary science that water makes up more than half our body weight. Water is absolutely essential to our health. Our organs, tissues, and cells need water to function properly. Adequate hydration regulates our body temperature, eliminates toxins and waste, and delivers nutrients to our organs.
Depending on your environment, exercise intensity, fitness level, body size, and even genetics, you may need more or less water per day. Some people sweat more than others, and some are fitter than others and sweat earlier in exercise, so they require more water. The Mayo Clinic shares the standard for how much water to drink per day. Men should aim to drink 3 liters, or 13 cups per day, and women should drink 2.2 liters, or 9 cups per day. Now this doesn’t include caffeine and alcohol, as these actually dehydrate you. In these cases, you need to drink an extra two cups for every caffeinated beverage or alcoholic drink.
I will never forget a news report special on hydration and the closing line, “by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” I understand drinking plain water can be boring to the palate, especially when so dependent on fruit drinks loaded with sugars, or carbonated sodas. The alternative is to add some fruit to your water, or a squeeze of lemon. If you like bubbles, try some mineral or sparkling water. You can get adventurous and even add herbs to your water like mint, or parsley. Start and end your day with a tall glass of water. Purchase a BPA-free thermos to fill up and carry with you, so you have a constant reminder to drink water. With these small changes before you know it, you will see and feel the benefits of drinking water.
Feeling thirsty yet? Cheers!