You probably hear this all the time…for good reason! Water is vital for our bodies to perform properly. I’m sure you’re aware that our bodies consist primarily of water – everything from our brain down to our cells. Water is the key to a full-functioning, feel-good body! Humans can go over a month without food, but only about a week without water – much longer than that and our body begins to shut down from the inside-out… It is THAT important! There is a countless number of reasons to drink an adequate amount of water on a daily basis, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Prevents dehydration. This should be a given. When our bodies are dehydrated, it becomes sluggish causing a whole slough of problems, inside and out. Since our bodies are made up of mostly water, it is no surprise that every bodily system needs water to function properly. But when our body is not getting adequate water, each one begins to lag – circulatory, nervous, digestive, skeletal, muscular, reproductive, endocrine, urinary, lymphatic, immune, integumentary, and respiratory systems. Water is vital to our body!
- Helps shed fat. Did you know that the signal our brain gives us when we are hungry is the same signal it gives when we are thirsty? We could be stuffing our bodies with food when all our bodies want is water. By reaching for water first, we are likely to suppress that signal because we are giving the body what it wanted and, as a plus, we are less likely to overeat. Water also revs up the metabolism causing more calories to be burned…now who doesn’t want that?
- Eases the belly bloat. It may seem counterproductive, but the more we drink, the less bloated we will be! Bloat can be caused by many factors (food intolerance, too much sodium, aunt flow, etc…), but a common cause is due to us not drinking enough. This causes the body to hold on to, and store for later, all the water it does receive because it doesn’t know the next time it will be getting more. Drink up and slim down.
- Promotes healthy regulation. Simple fact: water helps the digestive system keep things moving. Constipated? Drink water. Have the runs? Drink water. Keep a healthy gut by drinking water!
- Allows kidneys to release harmful toxins in the body. Without water, our kidneys cannot perform their job of releasing harmful toxins in our bodies. This causes toxins to build up in our system which can lead to infections and other health problems.
- Works as natural oil for our joints and gives our muscles more elasticity keeping them healthy and making it more difficult to get injured.
- Boosts the immune system. When our bodies receive enough water and all bodily systems are running as they should, our body is more able to fight against diseases, infections, bacteria, and everything else that may make you sick.
- Relieves headaches naturally. Do you want to know one of the main causes of headaches? You guessed it – lack of water!! Do yourself a favor and drink more water and prevent headaches before they begin. Choose water instead of pills…you body will thank you.
- Helps skin maintain elasticity and plumpness. Tired of wrinkles, stretch marks, oily, dry or “dull” skin? Well then, drink more water! Now I’m not saying water is going to make all those disappear, but it may reduce the appearance. Again, skin, just like all other bodily systems, needs water to allow collagen to run it’s course properly. Water can also remove surface oil and bacteria that causes acne and irritation. Water could be your the missing link.
- Various other reasons: water regulates body temperature, saves you money, enhances your mood, promotes mental alertness, speeds up the transportation of nutrients throughout your body, helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and so much more!
Now that you have a good idea of how water helps our bodies, here are some things that happen when we allow our bodies to become dehydrated:
DEHYDRATION (simply not drinking enough water) CAUSES:
♦ Brain fog ♦ Fatigue ♦ Headaches/migraines ♦ Constipation ♦ Illness ♦ Food cravings/hunger pains ♦ Decreased mental alertness ♦ Bloat ♦ Weight gain ♦ Slow metabolism (and that’s only naming a few!)
Take-Home Tips to do TODAY:
- Try to drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water.
- When you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water, wait 10 minutes, and see if you are still hungry. Many times, as I stated above, we think we are hungry when our bodies are actually telling us we are dehydrated.
- Drink a cup of water before each meal – people tend to consume fewer calories during the meal because the water helps make them feel fuller.
- Hate the taste of water? Add some fresh or even frozen fruit to it. Honestly, you can’t really taste the fruit when you’re drinking the water, but that sweet aftertaste is very refreshing.
- Skip the sugary drinks! First off, no, a soda does not count in your daily water consumption… and secondly, they are such a waste of calories! Instead of taking in 150+ calories in one drink, eat a piece of fruit or some fresh vegetables instead – they are so much more filling than your calorie-dense drink and give you all sorts of nutrients your body loves and deserves.
- Instead of reaching for different medications for “this symptom” and “that symptom”, reach for your bottle of water, wait a little while and see if your symptoms decrease.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If you feel any of the side effects of dehydration discussed above, DRINK WATER! Drink water even if you just had some!