While being interviewed by a radio host about my free mini-book on strategies to reduce inflammation and heal the body, he asked me “what’s the most important one?”
Hydration was my answer, and it was a good one.
We discussed the importance of being hydrated, how vital it is to make all the systems of the body work, and how many people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing it.
A few days later, he called me and told me how he had increased his water, and how much better he was feeling on multiple fronts. More energy, better bowel habits, headaches gone, things fixed that he forgot were a problem.
According to Deakon University, there are seven reasons water is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
- Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body
- Keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels
- Help eliminate the byproducts of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes (for example, sodium and potassium), and urea, which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein
- Regulate body temperature through sweating
- Moisten mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
- Aid digestion and prevent constipation
- Moisturise the skin to maintain its texture and appearance
- Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus in pregnancy.
Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. These cells need water to perform their not-so-basic duties. If they have no water, they will begin to lyse. Lysing occurs when the water required for the cell’s health is cut off to a certain extent, therefore causing cells to die due to the lack of hydration. The more cells that die in your system, the greater chance you’ll have at getting ill, growing weak, and eventually causing irreversible damage to your health. Keeping your cells happy and healthy will keep you happy and healthy!
Traditionally we hear that we should drink 8 ounces daily. But, according to the Mayo Clinic, Men should drink 15.5 cups, and women should drink 11.5 cups a day. These estimates vary depending on weight, but for the most part, these are both effective ways to get yourself drinking water at a decent rate. A good general ratio is half your weight in ounces. For instance, a 200 lb individual should aim to drink 100 oz of water daily.
So, with this knowledge, what methods can you use to stay hydrated and healthy?
There are many ingenious methods to remind oneself to drink water. Here are a few that have been known to be effective.
This ingenious water bottle uses colored bands that you slide down every time you finish drinking its contents. This gives the drinker the enthusiasm to continue drinking and also the feeling of accomplishment once they’ve completed all eight bottles worth, therefore completing the suggested 8-ounce-a-day goal.
One thing I do is purchase low-sugar water flavoring. Anything sweetened with stevia is something that you can usually trust. Avoid splenda, as it is an artificial sweetener that often causes more harm than good. Another way you can go about this is if you prefer to avoid all sweeteners but you still want the flavoring, is to infuse your water. Infusing your water will give you a natural, healthy, and add a crisp kick to your water! Usually people will infuse their water with lemon and mint, watermelon and cucumber, strawberries and limes, the list could go on and on! But if you want an even healthier alternative to drinking water flavoring, definitely try making your own infused water!
The cool thing about technology is that there are always technical solutions to many every-day problems. You can set alerts on your smart phone’s clock app. This is helpful if you’re a person with an intensely busy schedule and you enjoy little reminders.
Every time you drink your daily goal, try rewarding yourself with something that makes you feel accomplished. After all, you deserve it!
“Water – a vital nutrient” Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient.
“Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256.