Did you know the body is made up of about 70% water? It’s also responsible for every process in the human body, that’s pretty amazing for something that many of us take for granted. If you’re not drinking enough water you may not be giving your body enough fuel to combat everyday stresses, fight fatigue, keep your digestion moving, along with many others.
Whether it’s experiencing sweating in the summer heat or dry skin in the winter chill, water is key to keeping our bodies healthy on a cellular level.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should be incorporating more water into your day.
1) Digestion. From rehydrating from diarrhea, keeping things moving and preventing constipation and general digestive health, water plays a vital role in your digestion. Your large intestine is responsible for pulling water back from the colon if you’re dehydrated from not drinking enough water, which may increase the risk of constipation. Prevent by making sure you’re drinking water all day long and eating high water containing foods like fruits and vegetables daily.
2) Weight loss. Did you know when we feel hungry we may actually just be thirsty? Staying hydrated not only keeps your hunger cues more accurate but you’re more likely not to mistake thirst for hunger. Water also has been shown to increase thermogenesis, which may aid in weight loss. Try this: when you feel you’re hungry, drink 1 glass of water, wait 10 minutes and reassess your hunger cues.
3) Kidney health. Water helps both kidneys and liver flush out toxins and any other by-products from metabolism that are no longer needed in the body. The kidneys main job is removal of waste and to ensure this process keeps going smoothly is drinking enough water, keeping hydrated and given room for the kidneys to do their thing and maintain balance.
4) Headaches. Suffer from migraines or headaches? Studies have shown that simply being dehydrated can be a trigger for headache sufferers. Try this: if you’re prone to headaches and migraines, keep water near by and be mindful of drinking enough during the day. If you are experiencing a headache, try drinking 2 cups of water- sometimes symptoms subside or lessen within 30 minutes-1 hour.
5) Fitness. From swimming in it for aerobic activity, drinking it to rehydrate after an intense workout, or using it to ice our legs after a workout to decrease pain (maybe not swelling), water has an important role in physical fitness. Not to mention, it’s energizing and keeps our mental focus sharp and alert- both essential for a great mind-body connection.
6) BONUS* It’s delicious. Some of the most delicious whole foods are full of natural water- such as raw fruits, vegetables, all natural smoothies or juices (especially watermelon, celery, cucumber, zucchini, and more). Not only are you hydrating yourself by eating these foods, but you’re also consuming vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants at the same time- added bonus!
I leave you today with a challenge for your weekend and in this New Year: Try to drink at least a general recommendation of 8-10 glasses water/day or until the color of your urine is pale yellow-clear, which is a much better indicator of hydration.
Are you up for the challenge? Have a good weekend,
McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Stripped, nutritionstripped.com