What is it about Water?
It might be cooling down outside, but that doesn't mean you should necessarily pull back on your hydration! You hear it all the time! Drink you're water! Stay Hydrated! 8 glasses a day! Drink half your body weight in ounces! But, really...how much should you be consuming and why?
Obviously, we all know we need to drink water, but why? What is so important about drinking so much water! How much do you need to drink? And does it really help with weight loss?
I talked a few days ago about the chemical reactions that occur in the body to trigger storing fat vs. burning fat. Well, without water, none of those reactions happen. Water is the driving force behind every chemical reaction in our bodies! If you are not properly hydrated, the fat burning process will slow down, along with many other functions! Lack of water put's your body into a "survival mode" telling your kidneys and liver to make up for it! This is where those headaches, confusion and fatigue come into play! Without proper hydration, one of the first messages your body receives is to slow metabolism! So Drink up!
Lots of people mistake being thirsty for hunger! When you think you're hungry, are you sure that's what you're feeling? Try drinking a glass of water and give it a few minutes to see if that's really what your body is telling you! Drinking more water keeps your body full, staves off hunger and helps to keep you from overeating! You could be taking in more calories than you need to, if you are mistaking that craving! Plus, it helps keep things moving, if you know what I mean! Drinking enough water will help to improve both digestive function and efficient elimination of wastes and toxins in your system!
Just when you think it's all about you diet, the body can survive alone on water for up about 30 days, but without it...only about 3!
Moreover, even mild dehydration has been shown to decrease energy levels, performance, mood and even short-term memory firing! It also improves your skin! By filling your cells with proper hydration, your skin will smooth out and wrinkles will be much less evident. It might sound silly, but I like to think about it like a piece of bread! You have the fluffy, moist, plump bread, and then you have the stale bread that has lost it's moisture and has become dry, flaky, and cracked! Your skin cells do the same thing! And...it helps to decrease those dark under-eye circles!
Is all water the same?
Tap water, Spring Water, Purified Water, Drinking Water, Distilled Water, Sparkling Water...it can be a bit confusing! It's all sort of like, organic, all natural, etc.
Tap Water, obviously, comes from your faucet. The EPA requires a particular amount of chlorine in tap water to prevent contamination by killing bacteria and micro-organisms. However, chlorine is a known carcinogen, smells and tastes funny and can make you sick!
Spring Water, has a lovely sound and connotation, but actually poses many of the same risks as Tap Water. It's one of those terms that is misconstrued, sort of like "All natural." It's really just like Tap Water, contains many contaminants, just generally lacks the amounts of chlorine.
Distilled Water is boiled past the boiling point of water for a specific period of time, to boil off the contaminants; however, many contaminants found in water may not boil off due to their own boiling point. So, additional filtration is necessary.
Filtered Water is usually tap water that has been run through a filtration process, usually carbon filtration, to remove the chlorine.
*Purified Water* in order to use this term, water impurities must be removed or significantly reduced. It must be filtered and run through reverse osmosis or deionization; hence, regardless of the source of the water, this water must be free from impurities to receive that title!
When to up your water?
If you are exercising you are losing a lot more water to cool you body down, sweat. That water needs to be replaced, so it's important to push fluids during and after a workout!
When it's HOT. Anytime the temperature is up, your body is cooling itself...even if you don't notice sweat beads, you are still losing water! So, right now...mid-SUMMER, you should up that intake, especially if you are spending time outside!
And remember, for every soda or alcoholic beverage, you need to add more! Both are diuretics and cause you to lose water! So you should be drinking 6-8oz. of plain water for every soda or beer!
Fun Fact: Alcohol inhibits the production of ADH, a hormone that tells our body to retain water, that's why the booze makes you pee and how it works as a diuretic!
How to get it all down!
Get yourself a big cup with measurements on the side! I love my huge Nalgene Bottle with the lid! I used to spill my water all the time, mostly it would get knocked over by a puppy tail or a rowdy kiddo, but the lid helps me with that! I also use my FitBit app to track my intake. I log my oz. every time I fill my bottle! Because mine is a 32oz. I know I have to get in 4 per day! If you don't have a FitBit, there are quite a few other apps out there to help track your water! There are cups now that actually track it for you, but I like my simple cup!
Some people like to set hourly goals, or daily goals; like 40 oz. by noon, 80 oz. by 4pm, etc. It can also be helpful to have a buddy! As I have said before, accountability is a huge reminder and motivator! Sometimes I do gallon challenges with my husband or my BFF! Just making it a habit will keep you going, now I don't really have to think about it!
Cheers people, there are SO many reasons to chug that water!!!!