Forgetting the Basics
Sometimes hearing so much about other foods and drinks that are healthy, we forget the basics. We know that drinking water is healthy, but why?
- We are made of 60% water
- Helps to maintain the balance of bodily fluids
- Aids Digestion, Absorption of Nutrients, and Eliminating Waste
- Helps Circulation
- Maintains Body Temperature
- Detoxes the Body
- Balances our pH in our Bodies
- Vital for Blood, Saliva, and Digestive Fluids
- Helps Lubricate Your Eyes & Joints
- And the List Goes On…
Hard Health Habit
Pretty much any function in your body uses water. So it’s definitely vital to our health. Drinking water regularly can be a healthy habit that is hard to start. Juice, tea, carbonated water, etc. makes you think you’ve had enough and the “water” contained in them is enough. But it doesn’t do the same as just drinking plain water. Having infused waters can be a great way to get your started. It adds just enough flavor to break up the “blandness” of water that most people have a problem with when trying to drink more water throughout the day. Or you might be like me and need to break up the flavors here and there and get a different flavor in the afternoon. Throughout this post I’ll have pictures of 7 different infused waters that I’ve made, plus at the end I’ll give you a few tips for making your own.
How much water is enough?
There has been some controversy about this. We know the average “8 Glasses a Day” motto. But what do they mean? Since the average drinking glass has increased from being an 8-12 ounce glass to it being 16-24 ounces, what do they mean? And then you have different climates, different seasons, and people who do different jobs.
- Are you on your feet all day?
- Are you doing physical work or sitting at a desk?
- Are you outside or are you inside with climate control?
- Do you have dry skin?
- Do you have other health factors or medications that play into how much water you should be drinking?
- Do you work out regularly?
How much water is enough? Here are the averages to have as a starting goal.
- Women Average: 2.7 liters
- Male Average: 3.7 liters
Or you can do what I do and follow a few guidelines. Once you get use to drinking a few liters a day, it becomes second nature.
My Water Guidelines
NOTE: Raw food does count to some degree. You do get water from the foods you eat, especially raw fruits and vegetables. So if you have a good amount of raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you might not have to drink as much water by itself.
- Start your day with an average glass of water or two while getting ready for the day before eating.
- If you drink coffee, make sure to drink the same amount if not double the amount of coffee you’ve had.
- Drink water with Lunch
- If you are in a hot climate or going to be working outside, always have water on hand ready to go and sip constantly.
- Drink at least a few glasses of water after working out.
- If you have wine or an alcoholic drink with dinner or at night, drink at least 8 ounces of water an hour before going to bed.
- And the best guide – always make sure your urine stays a light yellow. It doesn’t have to be clear all the time, but it shouldn’t be dark unless it’s because of medication or a multi vitamin. Even then, because of those factors you might be required to drink more than the average amount.
If you want a goal amount, check out this hydration calculator by ReHydratePro. The results tab will break down how many glasses or ounces for morning, afternoon, evening and night.
If you are wondering how much water to drink for ultimate performance during or after your workout, check out this calculator from Camelbak.
An Experience: From Soda to Water
There are a lot of reasons why people have a hard time getting enough water throughout the day, but one of them is because they are soda drinkers and water is bland and flat. That was James’ (my husband’s) problem. He grew up drinking soda after soda. Only drinking water if he had to or it was after doing something in the heat or physical like mowing the lawn. But even then, it was most likely iced sweet tea he would have. Other than that – soda. Once he started working out he learned about why water is so important especially with trying to loose weight and build muscle. James never gained much weight but the weight he was gaining was all around his mid-section which is very unhealthy. He learned that a lot of that can be due to processed sugar. So he cut out processed sugars which meant he went to only drinking water cold turkey.
An Experience: From Soda to Water
James did okay at first. He started to think about soda all day, every day, and by the end of the day would start to get a headache. He had to “choke” down the water and sometimes only had 20 oz. of water throughout the day, but still resisted drinking sodas. This went on for about 2 weeks.
This was something I never fully understood, but now see the addiction behind sugar, especially processed sugar, foods and drinks. Sugar was one of those things that triggered my IBS symptoms so I associated it with pain and cramping. But for someone that doesn’t get any adverse effects right away from it, I can understand how and why it’s hard to break the habit and start having something “bland”.
An Experience: From Soda to Water
Once the headaches went away and James kept with his routine, by the 3rd week he started to want water in the morning. Things started tasting different to him. He noticed that with drinking sugary drinks he wasn’t able to taste properly. Now fruits, vegetables, and some savory things now have a better and sweeter taste to him. After workouts he has no problem drinking 20+ ounces of water. He sweats a lot more now that his body has the water to do so. Soda still comes into his mind and there are some days that are worse than others. I have to hand it to him, I thought he was going to crack at least once in the first few weeks, but he never did. Even going out to eat when he would have 3-4 glasses of soda, he ordered water and continues to do so. Along with healthier foods tasting better, his headaches he would get randomly or when it would get cold are now almost completely gone, and his workouts have improved. Definitely worth the switch!
As a Recap
- Water is vital for all functions of the body and can help with healthy goals like – a healthy digestive system, weight loss, etc.
- Follow the water guidelines and try to drink a few liters throughout the day
- Drinking water can be a hard habit to start, but worth the benefits
When grabbing your glass of water, add the herbs or fruit to it that you’d like. Wait for about 10 minutes and enjoy!
- For citrus fruits – lemon, lime, oranges – you can squeeze a little into the glass before putting the slices inside.
- For other fruits – if they are sliced, some of the juice is able to get into the water
- Herbs – I like to rub the leaves a little before putting them inside the water. It releases the essential oils in them so that you get more flavor in the water.