Got a headache? Drink water. Got a cold? Drink water. Need to lose weight? Drink water. Got a kidney infection? Drink water. Got acne? Drink water.
For years now we have been hearing and reading about how we should drink water to cure this and that and for our overall health. While water is super important for our bodies, it’s really not a cure for anything.
Most everyone knows more than half of the human body is comprised of water. Newborn babies start off with as much as 75% of their body composition being water. As we age and gain weight, that percentage drops, sometimes to as low as 45%.
It is important to maintain a healthy level of water in your body in order to prevent dehydration and aid the function of internal organs. But as far as curing ailments–not so much.
Water can make you feel better if you’re on the verge of dehydration. It can replace water lost in sweat after a strenuous workout at the gym or fun day in the sun. It can help flush toxins from your body by causing more frequent urination.
The removal of toxins is what really seems to “cure” certain conditions such as acne and certain infections. Toxins from the air, food we eat, and other sources can wreak havoc on our bodies and immune systems. Drinking an ample amount of water daily can help flush them out on a regular basis.
So now that you know why water really IS important for your body, how do you know how much is enough? Can too much water be harmful rather than helpful? How can you motivate yourself to switch out those yummy, sugary, unhealthy soft drinks you love for bland, tasteless, boring water?
The one size fits all suggestion to drink 8 glasses of water a day is not really best for everyone. How much water you should drink depends on many factors, such as your weight, age, health conditions, amount of physical activity, and where you’re geographically located. As you age, you lose water quicker. Obesity drastically reduces the water ratio of your body. High level physical activity depletes your body of water. Dry climates suck moisture from your body. If any of these conditions or situations fit you, drink more water!
The new general rule of thumb for water drinking is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example: a person weighing 180 pounds should drink 90 ounces of water daily.
It’s rare that the average person would drink amounts of water that can be unhealthy, but it can happen. Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication. Water intoxication causes sodium levels in the body to drop drastically which can lead to very serious health issues or even death. Marathon runners who drink large amounts of water during their run and water drinking “overachievers” are most likely to be affected by this.
Motivate yourself to add more water to your daily diet with these helpful tips:
• Have a special water glass/cup or straw that you love drinking out of. Maybe with your favorite sports team, personalized with your name, imprinted with a picture of your kids, or a crazy design or shape.
• Add flavor packs like Crystal Light, Wyler’s, or Gatorade. (Crystal Light makes alcohol-free Margarita and Mojito flavors!)
• Add or squeeze in fresh fruit like lemons, oranges, limes, berries, or mint leaves.
•Challenge yourself by tallying the amount of glasses you drink in a day and try to beat your record by a few more ounces or another glass daily.
• Limit your non-water drinks to one per day and have water with the rest of your meals and other times throughout the day.
When the cravings hit to grab a soda, energy drink, or sweetened tea/coffee, save yourself the calories and artificial ingredients. Do your body some good by having a tall, cool, drink of water instead.