In the last two weeks, we have talked about methods for becoming a morning person and how to have the perfect night sleep every night. One of the things I mentioned for mornings was to start drinking water immediately upon waking. The importance of water has been a recurring theme. I want to tackle this crucial topic this week.
Drinking enough pure water throughout the day (ideally at strategic times) is one of the most important components of health and it is commonly overlooked. As a matter of fact, when people ask me for advice on getting leaner, my first directive is always to drink more water! It simply makes everything else work better. Your body is between 60-70% water and your brain is around 90%! Simply put, you need water to function properly.
How to know if you’re NOT getting enough water
I am going to get really scientific on you here so be sure to make note of this…are you ready? The best way to know if you need to drink more water is…you feel thirsty. Yep, that is your body’s indicator. I have heard it said that if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Well when you feel hungry, are you already malnourished?? Of course not. Now, ideally you want to be drinking water consistently throughout the day. But if you do feel thirsty, your body is telling you to just drink more. Other indicators can also include, sluggishness, confusion, inability to focus and fatigue. If you want to see a few other less obvious ways of knowing you need to drink more water, click the link below for a great, quick over view.
Top Ten Signs You’re Dehydrated
Benefits/Purposes of water
Just a few of the vast benefits!
-Bodily temperature regulation
-Protection of joints and organs
-Transporting oxygen to cells
-Satiation (I.E. you are not uncomfortably hungry between meals)
There is a fantastically thorough study on the benefits of water. If you’d like to read more of the exact scientific findings, I highly recommend checking this out.
How much do I need?
There is no definitive answer for this. Some experts will tell you eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Others advocate drinking half your body weight in ounces every day (I.E. a 200lb individual would need 100 ounces per day) as a base level of water intake (meaning you are working inside all day and not exercising or sweating). This is highly personal with things like activity level, elevation and climate all playing a part.
As a general rule, your urine should have a light yellow tinge. You should also be free of headaches, constipation and random cravings. If you are not…try increasing your water for a week. I will occasionally record my water intake for about a week to assess how much I am drinking and see if I need to increase that amount. As simple as it sounds, your best measurement is always how you feel. If you are drinking enough water, you should experience a great sense of overall well-being.
Ok, that is a great start. For this week, my challenge to you is to replace every soft drink, fruit juice and sports drink with water. This is a pretty tall request, I know. But give it a go and just see how you feel. You should see improved digestion and an increase in consistent energy (less ups and downs) and focus… almost right away. Let me know how it goes. Have a great weekend!