False ME44 Water Water, but why and when? Written by Lindsey Bateman, Editor of Life & Health The importance of drinking water is endless. We all know that getting at least eight glasses daily is a must. Why? Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about one month without food, but only about one week without water. Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite. Water also leads to increased energy levels. The most common reason of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration. Did you know that water makes up 80% of your blood and your brain and about 50% of the remainder of your body’s tissues? Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, breast cancer, and bladder cancer. For a majority of victims, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/ or back pain. It also leads to overall better health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can lead to disease. And its benefits don’t stop there. Water can prevent and alleviate headaches. Water naturally wets skin and ensures proper cellular formation beneath layers of skin to give it a healthy and vibrant appearance. And water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation. But most of all, water is the crucial mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for accurate circulation. Make a Splash
False ME45 So now that we know why we need to drink that extra bottle each day, when is the best time to do so? Drink water when you first get up. Without water to start your body’s engine each day, you may be running on empty, especially if you skip breakfast altogether. Have a glass of cool water right after you wake up in the morning to inform your body it’s time to get on track. Drink water before each meal. Drinking water before a meal helps you feel fuller, so you may be less likely to overeat and more likely to enjoy your portioned meal. Water helps prepare the stomach for the food that will follow, spicing up taste buds on the tongue and moisturizing the stomach lining so acidic foods won’t be uncomfortable. Having a glass of water clears your mouth of dryness or extra tastes from earlier dining or drinking in expectancy of the food that is soon to follow. Drink water before a workout. Whether you are taking a jog in the park, go to your local gym, or you play for a sports team, hydration is essential to help protect and regulate your body temperature. Drink water after a workout. Following your exercise session, drink up to replace fluids lost by sweating and physical labor. This will give your body rejuvenation to continue its daily functions with energy and success. Drink water with a snack. Between meals, if you feel hungry, try some fresh drinking water first to see if you are dehydrated. Sometimes people think they are hungry when they really are just thirsty. Drinking a glass of water with a snack helps with the consumption and breakdown of foods as well. Have a glass of water when you’re tired. Feeling tired? Fatigued? Need a nap but can’t take one? Have a glass of water. Because of its ability to move quickly throughout the body it jolts energy levels. Water can reach your brain and activate it right before a meeting, class presentation, or special event where you need to pay attention. Cold water, especially, will wake up your body to keep you alert. Drinking water while driving on a long road trip is a fantastic way to ensure awareness. Drink more water when you’re ill. The most important thing to do when noticing signs of sickness is to drink water. Due to the body working to protect against disease, it needs more fluids than usual to fight off and cleanse infected areas. Most experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water each day ( eight ounces per glass), in addition to other fluids like tea, juice, and soup. Many believe water can prevent sickness. According to the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, research showed that, although it’s a great idea to keep water within reach at all times, you don’t need to rely only on what you drink to satisfy your fluid needs. For instance, what you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake, while the remaining 80 percent comes from water and beverages of all kinds. Though uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. As stated by the Mayo Clinic, “ When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte ( mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who consume an average American diet.” Water is more than just beneficial to the body, but it is Mother Nature’s cure for nearly anything! Please listen to your body and follow its signs for water intake. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that’s best for you. Sit back this summer, enjoy freshly squeezed lemon right into a pitcher of ice cold water, and relax. Yet remember, nothing is more pure than water itself!