Monday, March 17, 2008

The Importance of Water

I like to describe myself as someone who likes to go with the flow - take things in stride, let things roll off my shoulder, run with things rather than fight them.  But the flow I'm talking about today is not about being laid back, but about water.  Agua.  Eau.
To be truly fit and healthy, we all need to embrace the miracle of water.  It is the wonder drug of being healthy, so put those diet pills away and read on.  What can water do for you?
*Give you energy
*Is a natural appetite suppressant (so drink a glass before each meal!)
*Boost your metabolism (are you saying Woo-Hoo yet?)
*Rid your body of toxins, i.e. random crap floating around in your body
*Make your skin glow (save money on all those beauty products)
*Keep headaches at bay
*Keep your digestive system running....smoothly

What I'm afraid is that you already know this, and yet you still aren't drinking all you should.  Or, worse, you're sabotaging your intake.  What to do?

~Well, first, be aware that for every cup of coffee, soda or alcohol, you need to drink an extra cup of water.  Alcohol and caffiene rid your body of water, so you need to replenish that.

~You also need to make sure you drink extra water when working out to replace all you lose when you sweat.

~If you don't love the taste of water, try one of these two suggestions.
First, add some citrus.  Buy some fresh lemons, limes or oranges, cut into wedges and give a squeeze to each cup.  
Secondly, give Crystal Light (or whatever generic you like) at try.  Be aware of the fake sweetener in this stuff, and go easy on how much you use.  I use those single serving packets, and one packet gets me through 2-3 bottles of water.  
Edited to add:  FitMomma Jodi suggested sliced up cucumbers as well!

~There are many schools of thought on how much you should drink, but I find the most reasonable gauge is to drink in ounces half of your body weight.  So, if you're 140 pounds, shoot for 70 ounces of water.  Does that sound CRAZY?  Well, small bottles of water are 16.9, and those sport tops are usually 24 ounces.  Three 24oz bottles, with a bit of citrus or Crystal Light if you need the flavor, and you're golden.

~Get it out of your head that drinking more water will cause you to gain water weight.  If anything, not drinking enough will cause you gain water weight, as your body starts storing it (not unlike a water buffalo) when it thinks it's going to run out.  The more you drink, the better your kidneys work, and the more you'll be a-peein'.  Which gets me to....

~Just come to terms with the fact that as you increase your water intake, you will be in the bathroom constantly as your body adjusts.  It's like your 9th month of pregnancy, but not as uncomfortable.

~Feelin' sluggish?  A bit out of sorts?  Like you're swimming in mud?  You're probably dehydrated.  Drink your water.  This is your mother talking.  OK, this is a mother talking, but still.  Make the commitment to drink more water, carry it with you, drink it instead of soda, and you'll be stunned at how much better you feel after a few days.  And if I'm wrong...well, you're mother told you so.  


jodi said...

This is good information Amy! I once went to a fancy salon and they served water with cucumbers in it and it was surprisingly yummy!

Amy said...

Thanks, Jodi! I added your suggestion to the list!