We’ve all heard the eight glasses a day rule when it comes to water intake and I’m sure you’ve noticed the steady rise in people toting giant water containers around like designer handbags (some with designer prices). However, staying hydrated is more than a health trend, it’s vital to overall health and wellness.
“Why is it so important?!” you ask. Well, our body is up to 60% water, our blood is 90% water and our brain up to 85%. That’s a lot of water. Just imagine, with so much of our bodies made of up water, what would happen if we didn’t get enough of it? The answer: nothing good, that’s for sure.
Proper hydration detoxifies the body, improves liver and kidney function, promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol and helps keep skin clear and radiant.
“How does it do all this?” you ask (geez, you ask a lot of questions). Consider this. As our kidneys do the noble job of filtering out waste from our body, our liver is working to metabolize fat (among other jobs. It’s a busy guy). When we are dehydrated, our kidneys can’t do their job effectively, so our bodies recruit the liver to help out. This means our metabolism slows down as our livers spend less time breaking down fats in order to help the kidneys. That’s a double whammy. Stress on the kidneys and liver = lower metabolism = weight gain.
Being dehydrated has compounding effects. Because we are essentially made up of water, when we don’t get enough it affects our entire system from digestion to brain function.
Okay, okay, you know you need to be drinking water. But how much water? Does the eight glass rule apply to everyone? Unsurprisingly, no. Here is a simple equation to determine how much water you need to be properly hydrated. Bust out your calculator, here it is:
(body weight) ÷ 2 = ounces of water needed. Super easy. Just in case, here is an example: 130lbs ÷ 2 = 65oz of water a day. Every day.
Here’s the thing, nothing can replace water. Not coffee, not juice, not decaffeinated tea and certainly not sugary sodas (diet sodas included). Only water acts like water. So, let’s make water fun and trendy!
Just Add Fruit
Infuse! Adding fruit to water to infuses it with flavor. The classic cucumber is always a winner. But other popular additives are lime, lemon, watermelon, mango slices, sliced strawberries,blueberries, and pineapple. Yum!
Ice Ice Baby
Similar idea, but instead, freeze the fruit (or lemon/lime juice) and drop the cubes in a glass and poor over. Cold and delicious!
Drop an herbal tea bag in your water, hot or cold, depending on how strong you want the infusion. You can always chill your tea for later drinking.
Another good option is to drink soda water (not tonic water, which has added sugars). Add lemon or lime to this and a few drops of stevia for a low sugar soda.
Go the extra mile by adding superfoods to make super water! Stir in powdered magnesium, spirulina or chia seeds. You may want to add a little stevia or lemon when you do this, otherwise it might just taste like medicinal swamp water. Throw a lemon in there while you’re at it for Vitamin C.
Remember, success is a process of good choices made over a long period of time. It’s the little wins, like reaching for water over a soda, that will determine our health in the long run.
So, happy hydrating this summer and let us know what your favorites are!