In a world with so many wonderful flavorful beverages available to us it’s no wonder that water takes the back seat. The human body is composed of 75 percent water. Trillions of cells depend on H2O to function properly and to communicate effectively with each other.
We all have heard that we need 6-8 glasses of water a day, or more in cases of extreme heat or exercise, to stay hydrated.
So, what happens if we don’t consume that much?
- urinary tract infections
- respiratory problems
- high/low blood pressure
- difficulty focusing
- muscle cramps
- joint pain
- pain in general
Did you know that every disease is accompanied with dehydration? That’s not to say that if you stay hydrated you will have a golden ticket to living 100 years disease free, but your likely hood will increase. When one is dehydrated it takes longer for nutrients to be delivered to and from muscles and organs and athletic performance can drop by as much as 25% if you lose as little as 4% of your body’s water during exercise.
Our bodies are constantly regenerating themselves. Your body is not the same body it was a few years ago. Nearly every single cell has passed on and a new cell has taken its place. During that process our own bodies produce a stunning amount of metabolic waste. That waste is transported or ushered out of our bodies by water through our urine, breath, sweat and stool. If water is limited that metabolic waste cannot be exported properly and builds up in our bodies. To put it crudely our cells’ waste products are hanging out in our tissues.
This brings new light to the phrase “You’re full it.”
So what happens when our bodies can’t properly rid our own metabolic waste? Our cells contain mostly water and they need all that water to function effectively. When our water supply is low our bodies naturally conserve that water. As a result many of our body parts stop functioning optimally. Our muscles may cramp, our colon may withhold the amount of water necessary to produce a smooth bowel movement resulting in constipation, our blood pressure may go up due to our blood vessels constricting to make up for the lack of water, and our brain may stop producing at blazing fast speeds and move more like that old HP in the back room that takes 30 minutes to boot up.
If you know that you don’t drink much water, and it may even be difficult to drink water because you can’t stand the way it tastes, then here are 10 simple tips to get you drinking water like never before.
- Start small. Where ever you are currently, up it by a glass gradually, until you have reached your optimal level.
- Try putting just a little bit of citrus juice in your water (lemon or lime), or use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils in your water to flavor it. (Avoid artificial sweeteners)
- Drink at designated times throughout the day. For instance, drink a tall glass first thing when you wake up in the morning. Then just before you know you are going to eat or at break time.
- Carry a water bottle with you or in your car. I recommend glass for a few reasons, but everything tastes better in glass anyway.
- Try drinking from a straw.
- Substitute your beverage of choice, like that acid forming soda or coffee, for a drink of pure clean water instead.
- Set reminders around the house or alerts on your phone or computer to remind you to drink every few hours.
- Drink water steadily throughout the day especially when hiking or skiing. Would you believe that more people are dehydrated in the winter than in the summer? It’s true.
- Don’t rely solely on thirst to be your guide. Contrary to popular belief, dry mouth or thirst is not the first sign of dehydration.
- For children, offer them water first and if they just will not drink try very diluted juice as a way to quench their thirst. Discourage your children’s schools from carrying caffeinated or sugary drinks in school vending.
Many ailments can be prevented by simply drinking an adequate amount of water on a daily basis. There are also many benefits to staying properly hydrated. You can learn to love water and make it a part of your routine. As you do so you can be assured that you are doing your body a great favor in allowing it to perform its proper function.