We all know that water is essential to our lives but why don’t we drink enough of it?  Our bodies can last weeks without food, but we can only last days without water.  One of the first questions I ask my nutrition clients is “how much water are you drinking each day?” and the answer is usually “Not enough!”  Drinking enough water or staying hydrated is the first rule to staying healthy and having good nutrition.  Being dehydrated can affect us both physically and mentally.  

In order to keep your body at its minimal hydration level, the rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.  For example:  If you weigh 150lbs you should drink at least 75 ounces of water.  

Benefits of Being Hydrated:

  1. Increases your energy level:  When we are dehydrated we feel lethargic and demotivated and many times this happens around the 3pm hour.  If this is you, evaluate how much water you have been drinking during that day or yesterday. This could be one of the causes to your lack of energy.  
  2. Reduces hunger and sugar cravings: Many times we think we are hungry but in actuality we are just thirsty.  If you feel hungry or want to grab that sugary muffin drink 10 ounces of water or hot cup of decafinated tea first, wait 30 – 60 mins and see if you are still hungry.  If you are you might grab a healthy snack instead of that sugary muffin. 
  3. Helps to prevent constipation:  Water helps to keep things flowing smoothly throughout the body.  If you suffer from constipation try beginning your day with a warm 10 oz cup of water with lemon.  This will kickstart your digestive system and get things moving.
  4. Water helps to improve exercise performance.  When we exercise we sweat which is our bodies way of keeping us cool.  If we are dehydrated our bodies will not perform properly to cool us off and we can begin to feel nauseous or queasy during the workout.  
  5. Water can to reduce migraines or headaches.  The brain needs fluid to function properly and if your body is dehydrated your brain will contract causing a migraine or headache.  
  6. Water hydrates your skin and can eliminate wrinkles:  drinking enough water will increase blood flow to the skin and increase elasticity to give you a more even firmer skin tone.  

Tips on how to increase your water intake:

Tip 1: Drink 10-12 ounces as soon as you wake up in the morning before you drink any coffee.  

The first thing we do in the morning is go to the bathroom which means we are beginning our day dehydrated.  If you drink 10 – 12 ounces first thing in the morning (before coffee) you are replenishing all the water that you urinated that morning.  I guarantee you will feel more energetic in the morning if you begin this regimen.

Tip 2:  If you are feeling hungry drink 10 ounces of water and wait 30 mins before eating.  Many times we think we are hungry but really we are just thirsty.  

Tip 3: Buy a new large water bottle and count how many times a day you need to refill it and drink it.  If you grab a 33 ounce bottle you know you need to probably fill it at least 3 times that day. 

Tip 4: In fuse your water with fruit or herbs.  This will give a nice flavor to your water which can make you feel more refreshed.