5 Ways to Drink More Water
By Cindy Santa Ana
We’ve all been told we should be drinking about eight glasses of water per day. Water is crucial when it comes to your overall health. But are eight glasses right for you? How big is a “glass?” and what if happens if you don’t like water?
The Benefits of Water
Water is essential for internal cleansing, radiant skin, maintaining cellular health, preventing headaches, proper digestion and numerous other bodily functions. We need water. Many of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it.
Water helps flush out toxins from the body, prevents dry skin and relieves constipation. It also helps lubricate your joints, is imperative for brain health and helps with the absorption of nutrients into our cells.
Even a small reduction of water in our bodies can cause low energy, brain fog and for some, headaches and pain.
How much should I drink?
A good basic rule of thumb is to take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by 2. This is the number of ounces of water that you should be drinking each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need 75 ounces of water per day. But this will vary depending on the season, the amount of exercise you are doing and types of food you consume.
During the Winter months, we don’t need as much water, especially if you’re indoors and not exercising daily. However, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your intake. Dry heat from gas furnaces can cause dry skin and dry nostrils, leading to colds and sinus issues. I like to keep a humidifier running in the living room where I spend most of my time to keep the air moist.
During warmer months, you can get a small amount of water from fruits and vegetables, like watermelon and cucumbers. If you tend to exercise outdoors in the sunshine, you may need to increase your water intake. If you are thirsty, you aren’t consuming enough water (thirst is the first sign you’re dehydrated).
5 Ways to Increase Your Intake
- Start your day off with a large glass of water. You’ve been asleep for at least 8 hours (hopefully) and you’re dehydrated when you wake up. Add some lemon juice to make it palatable, get a Vitamin C boost and balance your pH. Added bonus: include 1-2 Tbs. organic apple cider vinegar to further support detoxification and balance your pH.
- Sass up your water. Don’t like water? Flavor it! Add some orange, lemon or lime slices, or fresh berries. Tear up some mint leaves, slice some cucumbers or add a few drops of essential oils like Wild Orange or Peppermint.
- Purchase a refillable water container. Just make sure it’s stainless steel or glass (ditch the plastic bottles, even BPA-free). Carry your water bottle with you everywhere, even when you travel. You can fill it up after you pass through security at the airport.
- Purchase several flavors of herbal tea. Or make you own! My cupboards look like a tea store. I have about 10 different flavors to choose from on a daily basis. Try some Lemon/Ginger, Peppermint, Rooibos, Chai, Green tea or Chamomile for relaxing evenings. Make it a ritual. I like a Dandelion tea in the morning, Chai in the afternoons and Lavender in the evening.
- Add some fizz. If you’re trying to wean yourself from soda and don’t like flat water, try using plain carbonated water and flavor it naturally with lemon or lime slices. Start off by replacing one soda per day and keep increasing your water intake daily until you have kicked the soda habit to the curb!
One Final Important Note
Make sure your water is properly filtered. Municipal water contains high amounts of chlorine, which is drying to your skin and not pleasant to drink. Your water may also be fluoridated. Water travels for miles in rusty pipes and picks up contaminants along the way. A filter is absolutely necessary to remove the over 300 contaminants found in city water. Consider a shower filter, a countertop filter, under-the-sink filter, or even a whole house filter. I personally like Aquasana’s filters.
Cindy Santa Ana is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in weight loss, clean eating transformations and thyroid disease. She works with clients to help them reach their ideal weight, increase their energy, and live a healthy balanced lifestyle, while juggling their career and personal life.
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