I’ve been passionate about a lot of the information that I’ve passed along to you since I began these blogs, but after doing extensive research on the affects that water has on our bodies and our minds, I may be convinced that this blog is the most important that I may ever write. It’s certainly my longest and I apologize for that, but every word can be an opportunity to live a much healthier, happier more rewarding life. My prayer is that you take my challenge seriously for 30 days and see the difference in your own body and mind. I’m excited for you to read this and embrace the challenge of drinking plentiful amounts of water daily! I’m making this a Part I and a Part II Blog so that you can take time to ponder all of this information.
In a world saturated with countless supplements and products claiming to be beneficial to the human body, nothing can compare to the original and best nourishment for the body, which is water. Being adequately hydrated provides a person with an overall sense of well-being, according to Jackie Johnson, who formed Water for Health (www.water-for-health.com) a couple of years ago.
Becca Borawski Jenkins, who found her way to health and fitness through martial arts and CrossFit, says that your body is composed of approximately 60% water (varies depending on body size). That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days dehydrated to some degree, we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. Every cell in our bodies needs water to absorb nutrients and expel waste. Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake. Fahad Khan of Iraq University mentions that the human body needs a neutral Ph7 range in order to function properly. Drinking enough water throughout the day helps maintain this balance.
So how much should we drink?
The amount of water we need is an ongoing debate. Some have suggested drinking between 8 and 12 glasses a day and other suggest that you take your body weight and divide it in half and that number in ounces is what you should be drinking daily. We decided to do the latter. If you prefer a little taste to your water, you can add a squirt of lemon, a squeeze of lime, a sprig of fresh mint or a slice of cucumber or orange.
John and I found it easier to make a simple guide for drinking our water. We drink a large glass of water when we wake up. Chris Bailey’s article said that if you drink water first thing in the morning, it boosts your metabolism by 24% for 90 minutes -- great time to exercise!! Then we have another large glass of water mid morning, another mid afternoon and then another with dinner. It’s important to know that alcohol depletes the body of water, so if you have a glass of wine with dinner, drink an extra glass of water to make up for the water loss of the wine. Like anything else, it’s a habit. Knowing that there is a time line for drinking each glass or bottle has really helped us to stay on track. FYI - PureHealthMD advises to transport water in stainless steel or glass bottles. If you have plastic bottles, don’t allow them to sit in the sun, as it might increase chemical leeching.
There is, however, also some concern about drinking too much water. On the Top 10 Home Remedies website, there is a warning to be careful not to drink too much water (although uncommon) because it could reduce your kidney’s ability to filter out waste. So, pay attention to your body and consult your doctor if you are experiencing any negative effects from drinking water.
So what does this mean? Why should we drink more water? After researching multiple articles from various authors including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Laura Schwecherl, a Growth Director for a Health and Fitness company, The FitDay.com Website, Chris Bailey, who did a personal experiment for 30 days, Abby Phon, Author of the Mind/Body/Green Newsletter, Kathleen M. Zelman of WebMD, and, those I’ve mentioned in text, I’ve learned that drinking plenty of water could do the following:
Chronic Pain Reliever – PureHealthMD states that patients with chronic pain need to seriously evaluate their water intake. Clinically, patients have noticed improvements in treatments they were already pursuing, such as chiropractic work, acupuncture or massage, just by being better hydrated. Be aware of what is depleting water in your body – Do you drink more than 3 six ounce cups of coffee a day? Do you drink multiple cans of diet or regular soft drinks a day? Are you working out extensively? Do you have a job that frequently puts you outside in the heat? All of these deplete the body of water. The need for water is so great in the body that a physician wrote an entire book on how those with chronic neck and back pain need to consider the amount they are getting. High coffee intake could also cause losses of minerals and calcium. One of the biggest problems those who drink a lot of coffee or soft drinks run into is that those beverages can replace water as the daily form of hydration. Ultimately this dehydration could cause nagging pains that do not respond to conventional therapy.
Remove Toxins from our bodies primarily through urination, perspiration and waste elimination. It also promotes healthy kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that kidney stones can cause. Also reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
Maintains the balance of body fluids - including increasing our metabolic rate and improves our digestive system, absorption of and transportation of nutrients, circulation, creation of saliva and maintenance of normal body temperature. Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them difficult to pass.
Increases Focus and Energy – Our brain needs a lot of oxygen and it’s made up of approximately 75% water. So, drinking more water gives your brain more fuel to operate on and thus improves cognitive function - focus, concentration and alertness. Fitday.com says if you drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, your cognitive performance can increase as much as 30%! Your energy levels will also get a boost! Just FYI, one of the most common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue. When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood into the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently.
A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitive function. The color of urine is a good indicator of the level of hydration. The lighter the color of urine, the better the level of hydration in your body.