There are many, many things that I learned while studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist. Some things I already knew about, but didn’t really understand. Take water for instance. We all know we need water, but do we know why? You have probably heard that your body is made mostly of water. That is great information, but kind of meaningless when you think about it. If it is made of water, then it makes sense we need to drink water to replace any we lose during the day.
Our body loses water every day just doing the things it needs to do, to keep us alive. Water is lost through breathing, sweating and through elimination – kidneys = urine and large intestine = waste (poop). I think this is pretty common knowledge, but do you know what your body does to the water you drink before it is lost?
Our bodies are amazing. There are many chemical reactions and other amazing things on a cellular level that we don’t think about much. Your body needs water for many functions, some of which include:
Digestion: dissolve nutrients so your cells can absorb them, moves food along the digestive tract
Elimination: carries waste out of your body
Brain function: transmits electrical messages from brain to body for all of it’s functions including allowing your muscles to move (remember that your heart is your most important muscle), allowing you to think, see, hear and do pretty much everything you do
Temperature: helps keep you cool in the summer
Lubrication: helps things move through your body and keeps your joints moving freely
So how much water do you need? There is lots of conflicting information out there and it seems to change almost day to day. Based on what I have learned I believe that the amount you need depends on a few things. Where you live (hot or cold climate), your age, your health, how active you are.
I follow the rule that the average woman needs 2 liters per day and the average man 2.5 litres per day. This increases if you are exercising or are in a very hot climate. If you are like most people, getting this amount of water each day isn’t easy. Some things I recommend to help you meet this goal are:
- Start the day with a glass of lemon water (that’s 1 glass)
- Drink one glass of water at each meal and snack (there’s 5 more)
Now you just need 2-4 more glasses
- Keep a water bottle with and sip on it throughout the day
- Set an alarm on your phone/computer to remind you to stop and get a drink
While I still find days when I struggle to drink enough water, I now understand why I don’t feel so great on those days. Sometimes it just takes a glass of water to make me feel better, get rid of a headache or give me more energy. It is amazing how quickly you can feel the water’s benefit to your body.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get a glass of water. Cheers!