Dehydration and Your Health
We often hear the three pillars of natural health to be food, exercise, and water. It makes sense that the food we put in our body feeds our cells and moves us toward or away from disease. We also know that a body in motion, stays in motion and what you don’t use, you lose.
But when it comes to water, I sometimes question how important it is to drink our proper amount of water every day, even as a health coach. Then I experience the difference of days when I drink the amount of water I need and days that I don’t drink enough water and the difference is undeniable.
Why hydration matters
The following is a list of benefits that just begins to scratch the surface:
- Clear skin
- Better digestion
- Improved elimination
- Reduces bloating
- Supports natural detoxification
- Reduces risk of getting headaches
- Supports weight management
- Enhanced mental clarity
Basically, every cellular function in our body works better when we’re properly hydrated. The ironic part to me is that something so simple can address so many of our nagging health complaints.
You're probably not drinking enough water
Unfortunately, many of us think we’re doing better than we are when it comes to drinking enough water. As a nutrition coach, I always ask new clients about their water intake. So many people respond by saying, “Oh, I definitely drink enough water; It’s the only thing I drink”. But when I ask about the details – how many ounces or glasses they actually drink in a day – they do the math and quickly realize they’re drinking about 20-30 ounces per day.
We should be drinking half our body weight in ounces of water plus an additional 24 ounces for any hour of exercise. For a woman who weighs about 150 pounds and exercises an hour a day, she should shoot for 100 ounces every single day.
Don’t like water?
There are a lot of options to give your glass of H20 a boost without the artificial sweeteners in the sugary flavor packets. Try adding some citrus fruits, berries, sliced apples, cucumber, or mint leaves to give it a boost of natural flavor.
Have to go to the bathroom?
Try sipping water throughout the day verses drinking it all at once. It will be far easier on your bladder. You can also time your water intake to when you’ll be closest to a bathroom. For example, I drink water on my drive home because I know that I’m close to my home bathroom. I, of course, don’t do this if there’s a chance I’ll get stuck in traffic, but you get the idea.
Some people aren’t opposed to drinking more water, they just don’t think of. Often their days are so busy and before they know it, it’s the end of the day and they only had one glass of water. If this is the camp that you fall into, I recommend carrying a water bottle around with you. If you have it in your hand you will be far more likely to drink water if its convenient. I also have clients who have set alarms on their phone and had great success with that.
Either way, it’s worth a try to fill up your cup and let your body enjoy the benefits of being properly hydrated. Maybe your nagging health complaint could be solved with something as simple as water.
Have you ever experienced any of the following symptoms?