Do I HAVE to drink Water?
One of the best analogies I can come up with is this: Water is to your body, that Motor Oil is to your vehicle. Does that make sense? Let me elaborate.
When you own and operate a vehicle, it needs to be properly cared for and maintained to operate smoothly and effectively. So what do we do to keep our vehicle maintained? One of the easiest (and most important) ways to keep your car running smoothly for longer is to make sure your car always has good clean motor oil. Oil is an essential lubricant in your engine. It allows the pistons and gears to move smoothly without generating a lot of friction or heat. Without oil, your car will die. Most likely, it will die a rather horrible death.
Now let’s talk about the relationship of water and your body. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don’t drink water, you will become dehydrated and, like your car without oil, you too, will die. Water is the lubricant that our bodies need to function smoothly and correctly. It affects the circulatory system by allowing blood to transport essential nutrients to your vital organs, and to remove metabolic waste (made by your muscles) to the excretory system. It affects your muscles by not only removing the metabolic waste, but also to keep your muscles lubricated and moving smoothly and not cramping up. Water affects our brain and helps us think clearly. It acts as a coolant by allowing us to perspire (which also cleans out pores to give us a nice healthy complexion and glow!). There are a million ways in which water benefits our general health.
This brings me to my next point: Does it have to be water that I drink or can I drink soda or juice instead?
I have had multiple people inform me very emphatically that they do not like water and that they prefer to drink Diet Coke. Ummm, what?? This statement still boggles my mind. Google literally has millions of articles explaining why this is just a bad idea overall. This blog post from Wellness Mama does a really good job at condensing the top reasons why you should avoid drinking soda. Soda does contain water, but it is also full of other ingredients that can be harmful to your body such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners (in diet soda). So, if you find yourself addicted to soda, perhaps it is time that you wean yourself off of it, or at least down to one soda per day. This will add money to your pocket book and help you lose weight. In my opinion, that is a win-win.
Fruit juice is better for you than soda and does contain some nutrients, but is still full of sugars so it is a good idea to limit the amount of fruit juice that you consume each day.
So, now that we have established why it is good to drink water, the question remains: “how much water should I be drinking each day?” The answer used to be to drink eight 8oz glasses each day. But let’s face it, not all of us need the exact same amount of water each day. Some of us need more, and some need less. A good formula to apply to yourself then, is to drink half your weight in ounces each day. For example, if I weighed 120lbs, then I would need to drink 60oz of water each day to stay hydrated. If you are exercising, pregnant or nursing, or are taking certain medications, it would be wise to increase your water intake even more. Here is a more precise water intake calculator. But if you don’t have access to the internet 24/7 you can always just gauge your hydration level by the color of your urine. A well-hydrated person’s urine is clear to very light yellow. If it is very dark yellow, you need to drink significantly more water.
Alright! Now you have the knowledge you need for adequate water intake, so go and drink a large glass of water!
How do you remember to stay Hydrated?