You simply must drink more water.
Water is a hot topic worldwide. The populations of many countries globally do not have access to clean drinking water. In the United States, this is rarely a problem because most homes have a running tap that delivers water cleaner than that found in undeveloped countries.
If the tap water where you live has pollutants, the simplest solution is to boil your water and store it in glass jars in your refrigerator. Most bottled water is no cleaner than tap water and the disposable bottles are turning into an environmental crisis.
Perhaps you don’t like water. Maybe you simply love sports or energy drinks, sodas, coffee, or tea so much that water isn’t even on your radar. The majority of Americans opt for a “flavored” beverage to quench their thirst.
There are many positive health benefits of coffee and brewed teas but for the most part, non-water drinks don’t hydrate your body properly so you drink more of them. Consumers choose “light,” “diet,” or “sugar-free” drinks to get more fluids without the calories.
None of these is a substitute for water. Nothing is a substitute for water. Drinking more water is critical to your health.
Experts estimate that approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That means their bodies are not getting enough of the vital water they need to live.
Acute Dehydration: This form of dehydration happens quickly – usually due to a sudden illness with fever, diarrhea or vomiting, exercising or doing a manual job (especially in heat) without replacing water, and sunburn or other form of damage to the skin. The water in your system is lost quickly but is regained once the specific problem passes. Acute dehydration can lead to heat stroke.
Chronic Dehydration: This form of dehydration is slower, less noticeable, and all too common with people all over the world. This is when your body loses a bit more water every day than you’re taking in. Possible causes are a physical disability, a terminal illness, lack of clean water, a consistent job outside in the heat, and simply not taking in enough every day to hydrate your cells.
In the United States, not drinking enough water is the primary cause of chronic dehydration. Two-thirds of your body is made of water and without it, your cells and organs begin to resemble cracked earth – dry and weathered. This can affect you inside and out.
Drink more water to avoid…
- Slower digestion, constipation, and stomach ulcers
- Chronic fatigue or general lack of energy
- High or low blood pressure due to decreased volume of blood
- Greater risk of respiratory illness due to dry tissues in the lungs
- Difficulty controlling body weight caused by mistaking thirst for hunger
- Higher cholesterol produced when blood volume is too low
- Skin conditions caused or worsened by toxins normally diluted with sweat
- Urinary tract infections as a result of bacteria that is not flushed from the body
- Aging more rapidly as cells are damaged and eventually die
Dehydration is dangerous. Every cell relies on adequate hydration to do its job. Without it, basic systems begin to break down and your body internally struggles through the day.
5 Common Symptoms of Dehydration
1. Dry skin is one of the first signs of dehydration. As your body’s largest organ, your skin is the first defense against bacteria, fungi, and virus. If you aren’t able to secrete enough sweat to dilute foreign invaders and wash away dirt, they enter through your pores. If you already suffer from skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis then it is urgent that you increase your intake of water. Dry mouth and eyes also points to needing more water!
2. You always feel thirsty or hungry. If these feelings never seem to go away no matter how many other beverages you consume, you must drink more water! If your body is craving water, provide it and you will feel the difference head to toe. If you wake up with a hangover, water is the key to rehydrating the capillaries in your brain that shrink when you drink more alcohol than usual. Water will help your aching head and dilute the excess acid churning in your stomach.
3. Aches and pains seem a regular part of your day. Do you regularly experience headaches, soreness in your muscles, or stiffness in your joints? Water is the answer to the problem! Your cartilage, muscles, and spinal discs are more than 75% water so not getting enough can lead to chronic pain that seems to have no explainable cause. If you exercise regularly, plenty of water before and after a workout also helps with muscle recovery.
4. You get sick more often or stay sick longer. Water is the best detoxifier around and without enough of it your body can’t properly flush toxins, bacteria, and potential illness-causers. If you always seem to have a cold, a mild fever, a rash, or pain then you probably need more water. When you get sick, increase your water intake to help get those germs out faster!
5. You feel mentally and physically sluggish. Without enough water, your body taps into other organs to get it so you can keep functioning. This leads to poor blood flow, reduced oxygen to vital organs, and a host of issues you do not want in your life! It can disrupt your quality of sleep, affect your libido, and make it hard for you to think or react quickly.
Water is more vital to your body than food. Every cell inside you requires it to live. It should be the first thing you drink when you wake up to stimulate your digestion and bring everything “online” to start your day. Water is the last thing you should drink before bed to prepare your body for sleep, help cool your system, and prevent cells from drying out overnight.
A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. If you have a labor-intensive job or work in a dry or hot environment, you should drink no less than one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.
That means that if you weigh 200 pounds, you need 100 ounces of water under normal conditions or 200 ounces of water if you live or work in conditions that rob your body of fluids.
Drink it in addition to other beverages you consume! Drinking coffee, tea, or soda does not replace your need for water. Try drinking water between other beverages to avoid chronic dehydration and give yourself a burst of energy!
Infuse it the night before with fresh or frozen fruit (lemons are an excellent choice), herbs (mint tastes delicious), or cucumbers (washed and sliced) to help you drink more water. Try one of these 10 fruit infused water recipes.
Avoid synthetic flavor enhancers that contain dyes, artificial sweeteners, and chemical additives. Adding natural ingredients will provide a secondary benefit – vitamins and nutrients your body craves!
Simply drink more water…because you need it.